Friday, June 25, 2010

Paramedics Can Perform Limited Sonograms

Paramedics have been taught to perform limited sonograms while en-route or at the scene of emergencies.  Now why hasn't this been thought of before?  Well, it has.  It has not taken off in America though.  I am not sure why, because it makes perfect sense.  The company I work for is marketing courses designed to train EMS and paramedics to do limited focused ultrasounds.  The goal would be to identify specific life threatening emergencies on the scene or en-route and to communicate the nature of these emergencies so as to prepare hospital professionals to be ready for issues such as free intraperitoneal fluid, pericardial effusions, or abdominal aortic aneurysms.  Why not go further and train the paramedics to do other simple procedures?  Maybe train them to scan a patient in labor to identify breach births or oligohydramnios?  That could prove to be very useful. 

Paramedics can obtain and interpret ultrasonograms in the back of moving ambulances, new research confirms.
Prehospital ultrasonography has been successfully implemented and is being consistently used in Germany, France, Italy, and some Scandinavian countries, but in the U.S. it's "still in the early development stage," according to lead author Dr. William Heegaard of Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis and colleagues.
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