Lakewood EMS first in NEO to use portable ultrasounds to detect internal trauma

Posted at 6:21 PM, Jun 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-29 18:21:28-04

In an effort to help take the guess work out of responding to patients with internal injuries, Lakewood Fire Department became the first in Northeast Ohio to obtain a portable ultrasound device.

EMS crews began training last week through a program coordinated with the help of a similar program in Dallas-Fort worth. 

“Before you would just go by the feel or the lung sound,” Lakewood Fire Chief Scott Gilman told “This way you’ll actually be able to see the changes first hand.”

Paramedic Scott Russell, who heads Lakewood’s ultrasound program, told showed how the ultrasound images can provide baseline readings for doctors to review and compare to their own testing once the patient reaches the hospital. 

“It’s also to alert the trauma teams that they do have something positive going on in their abdomen,” Russell explained. “And they might need to get an operating room ready.”

The program is in its pilot stage with hope to expand to additional devices in the future. 

“Knowledge is power so the more information we have to share ultimately the better the outcome is for the patient,” he told 

Russell said neighboring departments have already contacted Lakewood about the technology.