Dr Rose Sharkey, Respiratory Consultant, at the Western Health and Social Care Trust, said the easily recognisable purple oxygen alert bracelets will ensure rapid identification of a patient and ensure that ambulance staff transferring a patient to hospital, and doctors are immediately made aware of a patients oxygen therapy needs.
She said: “We have been working closely with our colleagues in the Ambulance Service to ensure Paramedics firstly check if a patient is wearing one of our purple bracelets.
“If so, then can then check the patient’s oxygen alert card which will tell them the correct amount of oxygen therapy to give a patient during an exacerbation of COPD, as they are transferred to hospital. The delivery of excess oxygen to this group of patients can be detrimental.
“The medical bracelets and oxygen alert cards will be distributed to patients attending respiratory clinics and through our Community Respiratory Services.”
Dr Nigel Ruddell, Assistant Medical Director, Northern Ireland Ambulance Service said: “Good emergency care benefits greatly from teamwork, and anything which allows us to work collaboratively with our hospital colleagues to ensure a patient receives optimal care is to be welcomed. We have already seen the benefits of this alert system working elsewhere and are keen to roll it out on a regional basis to make sure that patients across Northern Ireland with complicated conditions can receive tailored treatment from the ambulance service that will mesh seamlessly with their ongoing care.”