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Medical Breakthrough: Ambulance Cameras

POSTED: Thursday, March 12, 2009 - 7:47pm

UPDATED: Thursday, June 3, 2010 - 11:57pm

Brand new life saving technology has Baton Rouge on the cutting edge. Ambulances will be equipped with live cameras. It’s called BR Med Connect and it allows doctors to treat emergency room patients in an ambulance before they arrive at the hospital. Baton Rouge is only the second city in the nation to use this technology.

Ambulance and emergency room workers are able to communicate already, but with BR Med Connect doctors can now actually see their patients before they arrive. EBR Mayor-President Kip Holden explains, “Linking ambulances to the emergency room to speed up care for patients.” So, say a person has a heart attack and needs medicine before the ambulance can get to the hospital. Dr. Cullen Hebert, a critical care physician, says, “We’ll be able to provide emergent care in a pre-hospital setting with a physician monitoring everything that’s going on with the patient.”

Baton Rouge already has a wireless network, the ambulance is hooked up with cameras and microphones and so is the ER and through the wireless network, paramedics and doctors are able to talk to each other and decide what the patient needs. Doctors can pull up the patient’s blood pressure, heart rate, and other vital information directly from the ambulance and if the patient needs an operation or acute care, the emergency room can get the operating room ready before the patient arrives. “We have minutes and it’s the ability to get that patient from the pre-hospital setting into the emergency department and already have care being delivered.” It’s critical care when minutes count and doctors say BR Med Connect is changing the future of healthcare in Baton Rouge.

Right now, Baton Rouge EMS is linked up with Our Lady of the Lake Hospital. There’s only one ambulance equipped with the technology. Once EMS and Our Lady of the Lake work out the kinks all EMS ambulances and all hospitals in Baton Rouge will be connected.