There has been a new arrival at Corpus Christi Medical Center's Bay Area and Doctors Regional hospitals, and no, it's not a baby.
It's called a Zoll Rescue Net, and what it does is increase a person's chances of surviving a heart attack. It does that by speeding vital patient information to doctors, even while the patient is still en-route to the hospital.
You can't feel or touch this new technology, but the technology can certainly feel and touch a patient. Friday at fire station 11, EMTs loaded up a mock patient to test it out.
"The big difference now is going to be that the transmissions that we currently send are sent via analog, which is similar to a fax machine," said Chief Robert Rocha of the Corpus Christi Fire Department. "The upgrade is going to allow us to send the signal digitally."
Stemi is a code word for heart attack. In the emergency room, doctors get an instant look at the patients vitals with this new system, even before the patient arrives, often via smart phone or iPad, giving them the ability to quickly identify and treat the heart attack.
In this patient's case, doctors determine the patient has a blocked artery and is quickly taken to the hospital's cath lab where treatment begins.
"This will allow us to deliver quicker care. Quicker care when it comes to a stemi, or a heart attack," said Dr. David Blanchard, ER Chief at Bay Area Medica. "Saves muscle and saves lives. A great innovation. A tremendous advancement in technology."
Who better to test out the system than the local president of the American Heart Association, Jill Jacobs, who happened to be a mock patient?
"It's fantastic working for the American Heart Association. Obviously it's about saving lives, but we're also about, you know, recovery time, and it really does matter how much times it takes to detect the problem and get the problem fixed," Jacobs said.
The Zoll Rescue Net system is exclusive to local HCA hospitals, but Christus Spohn says it will be trying out a similar system in a couple of weeks.