Feature | October 20, 2014

Wireless transmission of ultrasound images from ambulance allows faster, more informed treatment of critical trauma patients

Samsung Tablet-based Ultrasound Trial Shows Lifesaving Potential in Emergency Services

October 20, 2014 — Samsung Electronics America Inc. announced the preliminary results of a groundbreaking trial into the use of tablet-based ultrasound in emergency services vehicles. A total of six emergency services vehicles at Bedford, Hurst and DFW Airport Fire Departments in the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area have been equipped with Samsung’s PT60A ultrasound as part of an ongoing trial.

Since the trial began July 1 of this year, ultrasound has been employed in 91 callouts to support diagnosis in cases involving trauma, internal bleeding, acute abdominal pain and cardiac arrest. In cases where specialist opinion is required, ultrasound images are transmitted wirelessly from the PT60A to doctors at JPS Health Network through Trice Imaging’s mobile encryption and image management system. The system also allows physicians to collaborate in real-time in order to prepare for the patient’s arrival at the emergency room.

Key findings from phase one of the trial include:

  • In several instances, the transmission of ultrasound images has enabled medics and/or doctors at the hospital to positively identify internal bleeding/fluids, resulting in faster treatment upon the patients’ arrival at the emergency room.  Early diagnosis has also enabled the hospital to ensure relevant specialists are on hand upon the patient’s arrival.
     
  • Medics at DFW Airport’s Fire Department have utilized ultrasound on cardiac patients presenting no pulse. While the existing protocol has been to contact their medical director to determine whether to cease resuscitation efforts, in several instances ultrasound has detected heart movement and medics have continued treatment, resulting in return of spontaneous circulation and eventual patient discharge.
     
  • More than 50 medics have been successfully trained on the use of Samsung’s PT60A ultrasound system, receiving certification from the Chief of Trauma. In the field, medics have been able to rapidly access the tablet-based ultrasound to conduct scans while the patient is in transit. Wireless image transmission to the medical director has taken as little as 30 seconds.
     

“This trial has demonstrated the significant potential for expanded use of point-of-care ultrasound by emergency services medics,” said Roy Yamada, EMS medical director for the Dallas/Fort Worth area. “By transmitting images from the Samsung PT60 in the ambulance to specialists at the hospital in real time, we are able to make critical decisions that can save precious minutes and have a tangible impact on outcomes for trauma and cardiac patients.”

The Samsung PT60A, Samsung’s first tablet-based ultrasound system, is designed specifically for point-of-care applications. Using the one-touch measurement features of the ultra-portable and compact device, exam results are delivered with maximum efficiency. The system’s Auto IMT and quick diagnosis report can help providers make critical decisions and enable timely treatment for the patient.

“Time to the operating theater is critical in determining the survival of trauma patients,” added Raj Gandhi, trauma medical director, John Peter Smith Hospital, Fort Worth. “By receiving ultrasound images from the emergency services personnel while the patient is en route, I can make a more accurate determination if surgery is required and have the patient transported directly to the operating room.  This trial points to a significant opportunity to improve our emergency services protocols that has the potential to save many lives.”

The PT60A is among a number of innovative medical imaging products Samsung will be showcasing at the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) annual Scientific Assembly from Oct. 27-30 at McCormick Place in Chicago, Booth 1445. 

For more information: samsung.com/healthcare

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