Wednesday, August 12, 2020
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Putnam EMS Equipped With Portable Ultrasound Technology

Putnam County’s Emergency Medical Services now have new portable ultrasound devices.

EMS Chief Tommy Copeland said the county has enough devices to cover all their advance life support trucks.

“It’s kinda like our heart monitor, it’s a diagnostic type tool to help us to be able to figure out what’s going on with the patient and help erect the care that we give them pre-hospital. It’s a very quick and easy thing to use,” Copeland said.

According to an EMS press release the distribution of these devices are the largest pre-hospital ultrasound deployment in Tennessee.

Emergency personnel use these ultrasound devices to detect blood clots, cardiac arrest, aneurysms, and penetration wounds. Copeland added he hopes over time all ambulances will carry these ultrasound devices.

“We’ve trained all of our paramedics to be able to use the device. All the average paramedics, they got 14 hours of hands on didactic and online training,” Copeland said. “We’ve got some super users that have also received another 8 to 10 hours of training in addition to that.”

Medical Director Dr. Sullivan Smith said in a press release this level of training and quality care in Putnam is not new.

“Putnam County EMS has time and again led the EMS industry by providing advanced care through innovation and training,” Smith said. Decades ago, we literally were the first ground EMS service to transmit EKGs to the hospital by using a machine similar to those used in a doctor’s office, cabled to a fax machine which was then attached to an analog cell phone. All of that was bungee corded together in the back of the ambulance…we sure have come a long way since then…”

Putnam has participated since last year in a pilot program through EMS POCUS, the company contracted to provide training and quality assurance programs, to confirm the technology could be used in the field.

The devices were purchased from Butterfly IQ at $2,500 per vehicle.

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