Local News

Aug 13, 2014 12:19 PM by Rachel Cole - rcole@kristv.com

HALO-Flight Brings New Medical Devices to South Texas Skies

CORPUS CHRISTI - Local emergency responders are keeping up with tech advances. Ultimately to create a larger gap between life and death for patients. HALO-Flight now has a new device to help detect a heart attack from the air and trace it straight to a doctor on the ground.

The Zoll "X" series heart monitor is the first of it's kind to hit the skies of South Texas through HALO-Flight. Randy Endsley, Chief Medical Officer with the agency says it's a helpful tool for the flight crew and physicians.

"Now we're able to transmit a tracing of that patient's heart to the hospital cardiac center and physicians on the other end," Endsley said.

This way doctors can make better decisions before the patient even arrives.

"Doctors can actually look at their heart tracing whether it be in the E.R. or on their smart phone. Then, decide that, that patient can bypass the emergency department, go straight to the cath-lab, saving precious minutes of that patient's heart muscle," he added.

A heart attack, Endsley says, is when someone has a clotted vessel inside their heart. The muscle itself is not getting oxygen and when the muscle doesn't get oxygen it dies.

"Every minute that goes by that damage is worse and worse and worse. So, again the speed that allows that patient to get to the cath-lab quicker is best for that patient," Endsley said.

Plus, physicians can check the tracing on their phone and know right away, what vessel in the heart is going to need to be opened immediately.

"We've already had patients go directly to the cath-lab and getting that vessel opened within minutes of arriving at the hospital," he said.

The new devices create many crucial elements but one specifically important to Endsley.

"It just allows us to give better care. This was strictly done to better our care to our surrounding counties," he added.

HALO-Flight officials say, all of the cardiac centers in Corpus Christi have the capability to see the heart tracing that's being sent from the air, to health officials on the ground.

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