New Technology Helps First Responders Treat Kids More Effectively

Brooklyn Center, MN--(Jan 7, 2016 Source: Jessica Miles) New technology is helping paramedics treat young patients, and North Memorial medics are the first in the state to use it. When an emergency happens and an ambulance is called, first responders fly into action. But when that person needing help is a child, "...the stress level is that much higher," Dr. John Lyng with North Memorial Ambulance Service and Air Care said.

For adults, medics can generalize pain dosages or other medicines more easily.

For kids, things have to be much more precise based on size and weight.

"With the old system we had, paramedics would have to wait until they're on scene and get to the child and use special measuring tape and measure from top of head down to their heel," Lyng said.

They'd then have to do math in their heads, work it out on paper or smartphone apps to figure out dosages.

But now there is new tablet technology.

"Now we can say we're en route to a seven year old, and paramedics can scroll through and look for info on seven year olds and start preparing equipment and medications on the way to the call," Lying said.

"It's making your job easier in the sense that you're not having to figure out all this math while also having to deal with a patient who needs your help? Absolutely, it lets our medics and EMT's and nurses keep focus on the child instead of turning off to the side and using pen to paper to try to figure out the dose," he added.

In its first two months of use, reviews are great.

"I had a nine year old girl who had spilled some hot chocolate on herself; she had a 2nd degree burn to her upper thigh," paramedic Robin Rowan, said.

A few scrolls and clicks on the Handtevy, and Rowan had his pain dose.

"Is it much better than the old system? Way better, easy, didn't even have to think about it," he said.

While North Memorial is the only ambulance service currently using this technology, Lyng says others are looking at it.

They've got about 300 tablets - one for each rig and each chopper.

The system is going over so well the hope is it can be implemented in the emergency room at North Memorial Medical Center as well.