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Handheld Ultrasound

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I truly believe ultrasound is more beneficial than 12 lead technology for EMS (not saying we should take it away by any means here). If you do your homework and practice a handheld ultrasound can provide a FAST exam within 30 seconds, tell you in minutes why your patient is in shock, assist with IV placement, do cardiac, vessel, and fetal assessments.

Assuming of course your Paramedic crew has sufficient A&P knowledge and the willingness to learn the FAST system.

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I truly believe ultrasound is more beneficial than 12 lead technology for EMS (not saying we should take it away by any means here). If you do your homework and practice a handheld ultrasound can provide a FAST exam within 30 seconds, tell you in minutes why your patient is in shock, assist with IV placement, do cardiac, vessel, and fetal assessments.

Are these things that we should really be taking the time in the field to complete? What does the science and research show?

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Here's the true life scenario...

16 year old male kicked in the LUQ and complaining of ABD pain. Skin is pale and diaphoretic. Heart rate 95, BP 104/70, RR 20, SPo2 is 93%. Nearest trauma centre is a 2 hour drive, air transport is unavailable, doc in the box is the nearest option 15 minutes away, however all he has is Lab, (no ABGs) X-ray, and colloids. Current practise dictates we stop at the doc in a box, waste 2 hours while he does labs, gets x-rays, and sets up the referral to the trauma centre, then continue transport.

If our u/s gives us the ability to identify free fluid in the abd from a splenec rupture, I would opt to bypass the doc in a box and head direct to the trauma centre.

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Here's the true life scenario...

16 year old male kicked in the LUQ and complaining of ABD pain. Skin is pale and diaphoretic. Heart rate 95, BP 104/70, RR 20, SPo2 is 93%. Nearest trauma centre is a 2 hour drive, air transport is unavailable, doc in the box is the nearest option 15 minutes away, however all he has is Lab, (no ABGs) X-ray, and colloids. Current practise dictates we stop at the doc in a box, waste 2 hours while he does labs, gets x-rays, and sets up the referral to the trauma centre, then continue transport.

If our u/s gives us the ability to identify free fluid in the abd from a splenec rupture, I would opt to bypass the doc in a box and head direct to the trauma centre.

It may be more beneficial to look at changing protocols for a scenario such as this. I see no point in having to stop and waste time, you should be able to use your discretion and bypass to the nearest appropriate facility based on the history and vital signs you see. Or swing through have doc say yup, keep going.

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They are great for getting peripheral IVs.

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They are great for getting peripheral IVs.

I already have a veinlite.

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I already have a veinlite.

he means that he already has all the other bells and whistles and has a surplus budget to spend before his fiscal year is over. ha ha just kidding

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The veinlites are fun, but you can't beat an US for getting a good look at the vein.

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he means that he already has all the other bells and whistles and has a surplus budget to spend before his fiscal year is over. ha ha just kidding

You forget Ruff, I'm a privateer. Any money I have left over is supposed to go into my pocket, and the more I can gouge out of patient care, the more I get to keep. :)

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You forget Ruff, I'm a privateer. Any money I have left over is supposed to go into my pocket, and the more I can gouge out of patient care, the more I get to keep. :)

Don't you mean, overcharge canadian medicare and medicaid? Plus whatever is left over from the donations to your service that you don't spend you can put into your RV to end all RV's right?

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