Latest medical equipment saves more lives - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Latest medical equipment saves more lives

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November 15, 2007

Albany - To the untrained eye, they may not look like much more than cool new gadgets, but to medical professionals, the latest and greatest medical technology can save lives. Emergency medical workers are learning about how they can incorporate the newest devices into everyday practices to keep you alive.

It's one of the most common calls Emergency workers receive. A patient is having a heart attack and needs CPR. "With manual CPR," says Beverly Kretz, "If you do it perfectly, you get 10-20% blood flow to the heart and 30-40% to the brain and that's if you do it perfectly, consistently. With autopulse, you get 100% blood flow during a cariac arrest."

Making the chances of survival for a patient much greater, and giving the one paramedic a chance to tend to other problems with the patient, and hold on for safety as well.

"For some paramedics especially in rural areas where they are short-handed," said Kretz, "this is the equivalent of the person."

And this may be even better than another person: a hydraulic ambulance cot, that can lift a 500 pound person without assistance. "Now how much does something like this cost?" "Under $12,000. Somewhere between $11,000 and $12,000 depending on how it's equipped." "And when your talking workers comp, it could be well worth it." "Yeah, " said Jamie Witham with Stryker.  "If your talking about a spinal injury, easily exceeds $10,000 per claim and that's just a minor injury."

While most of us hope we never have to go for a ride in an ambulance, if we do, especially here in Dougherty County, we can have the assistance of something like this-a Stryker PowerPro. If you are transported, it's easier on the paramedic because they can life you without having to do the "heavy lifting" and it won't cause as much jarring.

And here's another handy tool for paramedics. This measures Carbon Monoxide in the blood within seconds, letting medical workers if they need to transport a patient or if they can treat on the scene. "The other great use is for firefighter rehab," said Tim Rado, "When you are into a building fighting a fire, come out, you know right away whether you can send them back in or not."

All neat, cool new trends that could have life-saving results. While a lot of the new technology in medical equipment is more expensive, medical workers say you can't put a price tag on saving lives.

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