The average adult’s heart beats about 70 times a minute. With each beat, the left ventricle of your heart is pumping blood throughout your body, delivering the nutrients essential for you to wake up each morning, go to bed each night—and live, in between.
But what happens when that left ventricle can’t pump that oxygen-rich blood 70 times a minute? Your cells, the roughly 100 trillion, microscopic building blocks of the body simply cannot survive. When they say it’s the little things in life that matter—they’re not lying.
My name is Jason Castle, and I am a biologist five days out of the week, and an EMT for seven. There are a few things that make both of these roles very important. As an EMT or first responder, my job is to get to the scene and figure out what the patient needs—fast. For critical patents (the ones with oxygen-deprived cells), time is everything. Seconds matter. While we cannot give all medications, we can give oxygen to keep that essential component of blood flowing to the cells until we determine the issue at hand heart.
The next step? Get to the hospital, ASAP.
If you live far, it could take at least 30 minutes to transport. And that’s just arriving. What about the time it takes to get an x-ray of the heart and to analyze that image to understand what’s wrong? As an EMT, I understand first hand the criticality of time. I’ve heard stories of hearts diminishing from 70 beats per minute, to 50, to 20, to flatline. Sometimes, there’s not much we can do, but other times—there is.
Becoming an EMT has made me realize the importance of my day job. I, along with many others, am researching technology that can significantly reduce the time it takes to get to definitive care. I’m talking no more long rides to the emergency room where the true care begins, but in the place where emergency care belongs—the back of an ambulance.
What if you could see the heart right when the patient complains of chest pain? How about if you can see the heart in ways a still image just cannot capture? What if you could treat that patient, right when that real-time image depicts a sign of soon-to-be cellular danger?
In the below video, you’ll hear about the technology researchers are working on that will make time no longer the problem, but part of the solution. If we can start care within minutes of identifying the issue with the patient, outcomes would could be a lot different and the world of emergency medicine would change, as we know it.
As National Emergency Medical Services week is under way, I am proud to be a part of an organization of people who are working to save lives each day. It’s these people who inspire me to help develop this technology that could lead to less time in emergency rooms and more time with loved ones.
Check out the video below as well as some photos of our Emergency Medical Services team here at Global Research, comprised of fire, rescue, HAZMAT and EMTs.