Medics at London Air Ambulance test portable ultrasound machines during London Games

During the Olympics and Paralympics medics have been testing portable ultrasound machines capable of detecting life threatening conditions.

Five so-called Vscan, no larger than a smart phone, have been used by medics working for the London Air Ambulance based on the roof of the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel.

Ultrasound technology contained in the device is allowing medics to inspect the inside of patient’s body prior to transport and potentially speeding up clinical decisions and increasing survival prospects.

The devise is intended for fast scanning during emergencies to quickly assess the presence of fluid (blood) in the abdomen, pelvis and pericardium – the outer covering sac of the heart. A build-up of fluid after a trauma injury can cause cardiac tamponade, compression of the heart, an emergency condition often requiring emergency surgery.

Professor David Lockey, leader of research and development for London’s Air Ambulance, said: “We’ve used portable ultrasound devices before but the size and image quality provided by the Vscan has the potential to make a difference to our patients.”

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