If you box up a device and send it back to the factory, you expect a little extra. Defib manufacturer Zoll Medical has a long history of backstopping biomeds in the field, and their depot shares the same building as production lines, giving Zoll unique service resources.

The NTP 1000A, a noninvasive temporary pacemaker based on the electrophysiology research of Paul Zoll, M.D., revolutionized cardiac resuscitation when it entered the healthcare market in 1984, and presented a challenge to hospital biomeds. Nurses and doctors sometimes misunderstand the machine, and BMETs had to troubleshoot the application of the NTP more often than its electronics.

Fortunately, any on-site biomed with a question could call Steve Trainor, a technician at the Zoll Medical factory in Massachusetts who knew the NTP inside and out and was willing to take time — sometimes hours — to explain its concepts, describe how to test it, and help determine the proper course of action if the NTP didn’t appear to work.

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