Feature | Ultrasound Imaging | November 26, 2019

Handheld Ultrasound Aids First Mobile ECMO Unit in a Pre-hospital Setting

Experts say Lumify POCUS system was instrumental for the first out-of-hospital ECMO procedure in the U.S.

The Philips Lumify hand-held ultrasound technology is an important component of the mobile ECMO unit. Members of the ECMO team use Lumify for real-time visual guidance when inserting tubes in veins and arteries in a process called ECMO cannulation. #RSNA2019 #RSNA19 #POCUS

The Philips Lumify hand-held ultrasound technology is an important component of the mobile ECMO unit. Members of the ECMO team use Lumify for real-time visual guidance when inserting tubes in veins and arteries in a process called ECMO cannulation. 

November 26, 2019 — Physicians from the University of New Mexico (UNM) and local emergency responders recently treated a cardiac arrest patient with the first ever out-of-hospital portable life-support system available in the United States.

The extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) system mimics a functioning heart and lungs, circulating oxygenated blood for patients who have suffered a cardiac arrest. Until now, ECMO machines have only been available at certain hospitals. But the UNM Department of Emergency Medicine, Divisions of Prehospital Care and Adult Critical Care, in partnership with Albuquerque Fire and Rescue (AFR), deployed the first mobile ECMO program in the U.S.

The machine, which is set up in the back of a specialized ambulance, allows physicians to perform an ECMO procedure in the field. Delivering this level of advanced care in a pre-hospital setting could improve chances of survival by up to 30 percent.

The Philips Lumify ultrasound technology is an important component of the mobile ECMO unit. Members of the ECMO team use Lumify for real-time visual guidance when inserting tubes in veins and arteries in a process called ECMO cannulation.

“Lumify has excellent image quality and is easy to use – it was instrumental in our first pre-hospital ECMO cannulation,” said Darren Braude, M.D., MPH, FACEP, EMT-P, EMS division chief and a professor of emergency medicine and anesthesiology at the UNM Health Sciences Center. He said the new, portable ECMO technology offers life support during a crucial, 60-minute window following a heart attack.
 
The AFR-UNM prehospital ECMO unit is one of many examples that show how point-of-care ultrasound is central to innovation in pre-hospital emergency medicine. While handheld ultrasound has become standard for emergency care within a hospital, moving the technology to a pre-hospital setting reduces the time required to diagnose patients and helps caregivers make crucial decisions about treatment.

“The UNM EMS program highlights how Philips point-of-care ultrasound can improve access to high-quality healthcare,” said Randy Hamlin, general manager for point of care ultrasound at Philips. “We’re proud to work with the clinicians on the UNM EMS team who are finding real-world solutions to deliver high-tech care. We’re constantly looking for ways to help bring the best care to patients, wherever they are.”

The Lumify system will be displayed by Philips at the 2019 Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) annual meeting.

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