BELLA VISTA, Ark. (KFSM) — The Bella Vista Fire and EMS Department continues to pave the way in emergency medicine in Arkansas, and now in the nation.
This week the department launched cerebral oximetry machines in two ambulances.
This is the first time an EMS service in the U.S. has provided this technology in an ambulance.
According to EMS Coordinator Leon Lieutard, the technology allows paramedics to monitor blood flow to the brain in real-time. It allows the brain activity of those who are sedated to be monitored in order to ensure positive outcomes.
Lieutard says it will provide a higher standard of care.
The monitor can be used in situations such as cardiac arrest, traumatic brain injuries or any time a patient’s airway has been compromised.
“Paramedics use paralytics when intubating patients when there is a potential to gag,” Lieutard said. “However, some paralytic meds last longer than sedation meds. A paralyzed patient can’t tell the medic they are not sedated, or they need more sedation. With the ability to monitor brain activity, this is no longer an unknown.”
Paramedics will be able to see if blood is getting to the brain or not. It also lets them optimize that blood flow by positioning the patient or offering different treatments.
In a press release, officials said personnel with the Bella Vista Fire Department have been thoroughly trained on the machines prior to deploying them on the ambulance.
The two new units were purchased with funds from the state, through programs that fund trauma systems.