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New Handheld Ultrasound in the ER Speeds Up Diagnosis

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Bay Medical is putting a new twist on diagnostic technology that has been around for a few years that will save time and make patients more comfortable in the Emergency Room.

A new $60,000 ultrasound machine will help emergency medical staff make quicker and more accurate diagnoses, said Mark Green, M.D., director of Emergency Medicine at Bay Medical.

“Ultrasound is a new application in the ER,” Dr. Green said. “It is the stethoscope of the future.”

Early ultrasound machines were heavy and complex to operate, but the new portable version recently purchased by Bay Medical allows for ultrasound diagnosis at the point-of-care where the need to make on-the-spot decisions is critical, Green said.

“It means we don’t have to stop what we’re doing to rush a patient down to diagnostics,” Green said. “We bring the diagnostic tool to the patient, speeding up the entire process and making it more comfortable for the patient.”

The two-dimensional images produced by the SonoSite System help guide medical staff in placing catheters or for those inserting IV needles for patients who are “hard to stick,” Green said. Ultrasound also would help a doctor determine whether the fetus of a pregnant woman is in the correct location or displaced as with an ectopic pregnancy. For trauma patients, the ultrasound can be used to scan the abdomen for internal bleeding or injury to vital organs.

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