County Medics Armed With New Life Saving Tool

The New Castle County Paramedics announced the introduction of Point of Care Ultrasound (POCUS), into pre-hospital practice. The technology was rolled out for use in early August and is currently only utilized by approximately 4% of EMS systems in the country. Comprised of a handheld wand and a tablet type screen, POCUS will be utilized to confirm the absence or presence of heart muscle movement, during cardiac arrest situations, when electrical activity is noted on the cardiac monitor, but no pulse can be felt. All New Castle County Paramedics were trained to utilize POCUS throughout the spring and the machines will be carried on each of the field supervisors’ vehicles.

During a cardiac arrest, Paramedics bring the hospital to the patient. They utilize cardiac monitors to visualize the electrical component of the heart. With POCUS, Paramedics will be able to also visualize the mechanical component of the heart, enabling them to make faster, more sound judgements in patient treatment plans. On the very first case, the technology was utilized, and cardiac wall activity was in fact detected said spokeswoman Abigail Haas. Haas added that this changed the course of treatment and ultimately led to the patient having a return of pulses.

Treatment with POCUS is a massive step forward for the pre-hospital service and one that will prove to greatly enhance critical decisions made, leading to improved patient outcomes.

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First State Update's Delaware editorial team covers New Castle County, Kent County and Sussex County breaking news, political news, and general news stories. We bring the reader the latest news from the Wilmington, Newark, Dover, Rehoboth Beach and all point in between. If you have news to share, email us at

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