Lt. Dale Hewitt of Georgetown County Fire-EMS recently assisted the Medical University of S.C. (MUSC) with a demonstration of technology that could be lifesaving for many rural residents.
Doctors at MUSC's Comprehensive Stroke Center constantly work with their community hospital colleagues on initiatives to cut down the steps that need to happen between the time a stroke patient is wheeled through the ambulance bay until treatment can begin – for example, by developing a TeleEMS program so emergency medical technicians can consult with stroke specialists while inside a patient’s home or the back of the ambulance.
If it were possible to do an MRI scan in the ambulance, then not only would doctors be better prepared when the ambulance arrived, but the stroke specialists could determine whether the patient could be treated at a community hospital or would need to go directly to a specialized stroke center. Hewitt was recruited to help with the demonstration. He and his wife, Jessica Hewitt, R.N., a nurse leader in the Emergency Department at Tidelands Georgetown Memorial Hospital, were the catalyst for the development of the TeleEMS program, and Dale Hewitt jumped at the chance to volunteer his time driving an ambulance around Charleston while the MUSC team tested whether an MRI scan could be successfully completed in the back of a moving ambulance.
Read more about the project at MUSC's website.