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Madison Co. ambulances using new tech to detect strokes

Published: May. 17, 2022 at 4:19 PM EDT
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MADISON COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - Time is everything when someone is having a stroke, that’s why UVA Health is partnering with Madison County EMS to accelerate treatment before a patient arrives at the hospital.

New technology inside ambulances is helping emergency responders speed up the process.

“We want to take that time component and shorten that as best we can to get them to UVA,” Gavin Helme with Madison Co. EMS said. “What the iTREAT program does for us that’s different than what we’ve had before is it allows us to interact directly with the physicians at UVA. It lets them see the patient directly. It lets them visually appreciate what’s going on with the patient rather than taking our word for it.”

It can take 40 minutes for an ambulance from Madison Co. to get to the UVA Medical Center.

“They have a bit of a drive to get to any hospital in the area,” Brett Schneider with UVA Health said.

Schneider says launching this program in a rural county was important: Neurologists can thoroughly evaluate a patient in route to the hospital, and make life-saving decisions before getting to the ER.

“We can move right onto things like CT imaging and treatment and we’re hoping this will result in better outcomes,” Schneider said.

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