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New technologies of Emergency Medicine

Posted Oct 13 2010 8:30am

People’s lives take a turn for good or bad in a matter of minutes. In emergency rooms, the quick response and skilled care of professionals can turn the tables on death.

Various incidents such as heart attacks, automobile accidents, falls and slips, gunshot wounds and childbirth all require instant medical attention.

Paramedics and EMTs are involved in this realm. Right from the transportation of the injured to surgical care till the end of emergency procedure, doctors depend on technological advances made in emergency room care.

Once patients arrive paramedics analyze the nature of a patient’s situation and try to determine the extent of damage. Also, one has to know if there are any pre-existing health conditions of the patient.

Doctors in emergency room or transportation use modern equipments to monitor the patient’s vital signs. Sometimes, emergency teams have to carry patients in helicopters and have to undertake more training.

What Is the Future of Emergency Room Technology?

  • The key to emergency room medicine development are lying in multiplier effect and teamwork. Pain management research is at the forefront of the emergency room technology.
  • The study of derisory pain treatment (oligoanalgesia), and the numerous risk factors involved (including age, cognitive function and ethnicity) account for major areas of emergency patient care medicine.
  • Online records of patients and e-health systems help close the gap between knowledge of physicians and available resources.

Emergency Imaging for Diagnosis

  • Emergency imaging is vital in the diagnosis of the patient. This helps create the immediate picture of the whole scene, literally.
  • The so-called rudimentary or standard examinations/technologies have been replaced with advanced studies and high-tech equipment. Computed tomography (CT scans) imaging technologies have been developed on a large scale and made available at low cost.
  • The latest CT scan machines are able to capture high definition images using 64 slices technique.
  • More technological innovations include the perfusion/angiography imaging for a heart attack, CT coronary angiography, and tablet PC able to transmit information over a wireless network.
  • In the emergency room setting these developments can make a major impact. Another latest modality is the magnetic resonance imaging.
  • The technology is becoming quickly available and is being used widely these days. It is far superior to CT scans and extremely helpful in suspected hip fracture and acute stroke.
  • This machine is also safer as compared to CT scans since the level of radiation exposure can be minimized. Therefore, it can be used for kids safely.

Brain Injury Emergency Medicine

  • Expert neurologic professionals are working on developing instant relief medicine for traumatic brain injuries.
  • In the coming future, emergency departments will witness the further development in the realm of stroke and trauma medicine.
  • This will undoubtedly involve the applications of telemedicine technologies. Telemedicine can help create a quick emergency room in remote areas by at least providing the required medicines through pharmacist’s collaboration.
  • Advanced endovascular approaches will be developed for patients.
  • Successful trials are in progress and aim to develop a variety of noble approaches to treat traumatic injury patients.
  • This includes parenchymal intracerebral hemorrhage patients who are known to survive few moments in the emergency room.
  • Some of the recent studies have undermined the importance of treatment of transient Ischemic attacks.
  • Research is being carried out to evaluate and diagnose these patients right in the emergency room and eliminate the need of a hospital admission.
  • Besides medicine, neuro-imaging technologies are also being developed simultaneously.
  • Emergency neurologic medicine, in areas besides attack/stroke, involves administering high-dose steroids.
  • Here, patients suffering from acute spinal cord injuries are offered improved medicines with efficient levels of dosage. This increases their chances of recovery and aids neurological treatment.
  • Also, hypothermia is instituted immediately after a patient suffers from resuscitated cardiac arrest.
  • Numerous new drugs are been developed simultaneously to treat status epilepticus. Another realm of medicinal development is the acute migraine headache.
  • Here, doctors are working on improving the pain depressants.

The treatment of patients in the emergency room is not only concentrated on developing technologies. It also involves proper training and skill development of staff. Besides implementing groundbreaking therapeutic modalities, medical talent also needs to be honed.
In the near future, remote surgeries and procedures will be developed specially for the emergency rooms. Emergencies may not even require the physical presence of a doctor. In the ER development, evolution of emergency medicine will play a key role.
Another aspect that may hinder the development emergency medicine research is the tight budgets or lack of funding. This can truly stifle innovation.

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