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The Berkshires

New technology allows Wilton EMS to better treat patients

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Albany/HV: New technology allows Wilton EMS to better treat patients
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Hoping to improve patient care and save lives, the Wilton EMS squad installed new technology in its ambulances. As YNN's Matt Hunter reports, the devices should help awaiting doctors at the hospital better prepare for incoming patients.

WILTON, N.Y. – Having spent the past 14 years as a paramedic with Wilton EMS, Nash Alexander is well aware every second counts in a medical emergency.

With that as their mantra, the department has installed new high tech heart monitors in three of its four ambulances that immediately allow doctors at local hospitals to receive updates on patients who haven't even arrived yet.

"Now they're able to look into our ambulance per se and look at the data,” Alexander said. “The EKG, the patient’s vital signs, their past medical history, any intervention or treatment that we have done en route to the hospital."

The new monitors, designed by Zoll Medical, wirelessly transmit data from the road through cellular technology, eliminating the old practice of handing doctors hand written notes upon arrival.

"Every minute does count,” Alexander said. “So getting that information to the hospital as quickly as we can allows them the time to prepare so they don't have to do as much prep work once they see the patient."

Currently, paramedics must send the data manually, however, starting in March, once they receive the rest of their equipment, all of the information will be sent automatically and right away the moment a patient is hooked up.

"The hospital is more aware of the acuity of the patient we're bringing to them and it just allows for a seamless transition and better in-hospital care," Alexander said.

Wilton EMS, which is partnering with Zoll Medical for a pilot program, is believed to be the first local squad to employ the technology, something Alexander doesn't expect to be the case for long.

"In ambulances, years ago, this was a pipe dream of many paramedics and now to have this technology is significant," Alexander said.

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