Innovative Technology Improving Emergency Medical Care
Scott Kasper, Assistant VP of Emergency Services at Virtua, explains how new technologies are being implemented to make response times quicker and more efficient when responding to emergencies.
"We have Scott Kasper in the house. He's Assistant Vice President, Emergency Services, at Virtua. Good to see you Scott. Thanks Steve. Good to see you. By the way, is there a difference between EMTs and paramedics? There is. What is it? So EMTs are emergency medical technicians. It's basic life support. So they have about 400 hours of training. They're really good at taking care of the initial care that needs to be provided in any emergency. But when patients are really sick, the truly life threatening emergencies, that requires a paramedic. Paramedic training in New Jersey is a two year process at many of the community colleges throughout the state, where the first year is classroom didactic training. And the second year is like a medical residency. They do rotations through the hospital units. They do a field internship with paramedics. So they're really learning how to take care of patients in a real environment. And they become really expert at what they do. You call 911, right? Sure. People, you know, we teach our children that. We try to remember it ourselves. Yep. We don't really know what goes on on the other end when that happens. What goes on? You call 911, and the first thing that happens is a call taker tries to decide whether you're really sick or really not sick. That the first initial triage, or dispatch, is based on that. So they'll ask you questions. If you're really not that sick - "I twisted my ankle" "I can't get to the hospital myself" or you know, some other minor medical issue like that, they're gonna send the local basic ambulance service squad that's in your community. If you use words like "I'm having trouble breathing." "I have chest pain." You know, "I think my father's having a stroke." Things like that. They'll also send that basic life support ambulance squad from the community. And they'll get there first, in most cases, really fast. And then they'll also add the paramedics on top of that. So that the paramedics can do some of the more advanced life support. The best way for the laypublic to think about paramedics is, we essentially bring the emergency department to your living room. Woah woah woah. You bring the emergency department? The equipment, the medications, the skills that the paramedics have in their truck, is very similar to what would be done in the emergency department. Obviously we don't have X-ray machines, or CAT Scans, but... But what are you doing? Excuse me for interrupting. So Scott, what are you doing out there as soon as you get there that gives that person a shot? Right. So after the basic life support folks have done their thing, and we come..."