The Lewisboro Volunteer Ambulance Corps is among the first EMS Volunteer Ambulance Corps in Westchester County authorized to use blood sampling as part of its patient assessment protocols. Pre-hospital blood sugar evaluation is intended to assist in the recognition of abnormal glucose levels and improve the speed with which proper treatment is received. Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), along with hyperglycemia, (high blood sugar) are both potentially serious medical conditions. Using a device familiar to diabetics called a Glucometer, which contains a lancet and electronic measuring capability, LVAC EMTs can now quickly detect blood glucose anomalies enabling them to provide early treatment and speedier triage decisions.
"Prehospital glucometry is a safe, effective and minimally invasive procedure used by EMS professionals around the country," commented LVAC Captain Robert Stoddard. "A variety of medical conditions and patient presentations warrant prehospital blood glucose analysis. An altered mental status is the most common adult chief complaint that triggers a blood glucose measurement by EMS personnel," he added. Before this policy change by the New York State Emergency Medical Advisory Committee authorizing EMTs to provide blood sugar analysis in the field, only Paramedics were authorized to do the testing. According to Captain Stoddard, LVAC applied for the authorization and has completed all the requirements and training of LVAC's EMTs and Crew Chiefs. He acknowledged the "excellent" support of Dr. David Zuckerberg in managing the application process. Dr. Zuckerberg is a member of Northern Westchester Hospital's Emergency Department and also serves as LVAC's Medical Control physician contact.