Emergency medical service(EMS) is an essential part of the health care system and is always expected to be available always and continuously in case of need.

The 12-lead ECG is one of the most fantastic advances in EMS treatment since the invention of the bandage. It has proven to be a landmark addition to the EMS toolkit as the critical diagnostic aid to provide care in the field, guide transport to the most appropriate hospital for acute heart conditions, and allow notification of the hospital so that emergency staff can be prepared.

The movement of this powerful diagnostic tool from the confines of the hospital to the streets has been nothing short of revolutionary. It has given EMS professionals a wealth of information on how to best care for our patients and has driven hospital care and the development of medical care practices by providing clear and critical data that physicians had rarely before seen.

What is a 12-Lead ECG Machine?

A 12-lead electrocardiogram (ECG) is a medical test that is recorded using leads, or nodes, attached to the body.

It can identify a variety of heart problems, rhythm abnormalities, and cardiac injuries. Its addition serves as the basis for updating EMS protocols to improve the care of patients suffering many types of acute cardiac events.

Most importantly, the 12-lead EKG is the only tool to identify a patient with an ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI).  It could reproduce QRS, ST, and T waveforms accurately, and provides evidence of P wave and QRS complex morphology that cannot be determined by single-Lead ECG. 

Not all hospitals provide acute treatment interventions for this condition, so the crucial EMS role is to identify patients with that disease and then, if possible, transport the patient for immediate intervention. There are many outstanding cases of EMS personnel identifying the patient having an MI, communicating that condition to the emergency department, and helping move the patient to the cardiac lab.

Application of 12-lead ECG in the diagnosis of STEMI

For ST-elevation myocardial infarction, the mortality of patients is closely related to the time from chest pain to perfusion (Ischemic to balloon time, also called myocardial hypoxia time).

The demonstrated advantages of 12-Lead ECG in EMS

Help doctors diagnose early, perform automatic interpretation or transmit ECG to expert

In 2006, the New England Journal of Medicine published that if the cardiac catheterization room can be activated before the patient arrives at the hospital, it will effectively reduce the time of myocardial hypoxia. However, the proportion of patients who can complete the pre-hospital ECG diagnosis is still not high.

In some cities, ambulances are equipped with 12-lead ECG equipment. When the fire rescue arrives at the rescue scene, they can first perform an ECG examination according to the condition. If it is judged to be STEMI, then the catheter would be called to activate immediately. In this way, when the patient arrives at the hospital, the Cath Lab would be ready to arrange cardiac catheterization, so as to reduce the preparation time of the cath lab, thereby shortening the time from hospital to perfusion.

Actually, even if the ambulance directly transfers the patient to the cardiac catheterization hospital, the activation of the cath lab will take a lot of time, which includes the organization of the cardiac catheterization team, the preparation of machines and equipment, etc. At present, if the hospital needs to activate the acute cardiac catheterization team, the notification can only be confirmed after the patient arrives at the emergency room and complete the ECG diagnosis.

In the emergency scene, 12-Lead ECG is used to complete the ECG detection, and some of the machines are able to automatically interpret and transmit the ECG report to the expert to establish the diagnosis result in advance, and then transfer it to the cardiac catheterization hospital, thus the early treatment could reduce the time of myocardial hypoxia and mortality rate effectively.

How Wellue can help

Wellue offers two types of portable 12-Lead ECG Machines, the Biocare 12-Lead EKG Machine, and the Wellue® 12-Lead ECG Tablet. By popularizing these tools into the field, they have almost made heart attacks into minor medical complaints that can be effectively treated if caught early.

Wellue® 12-Lead ECG Tablet

Wellue 12-Lead ECG Tablet

The flexible size of 197mm×112.4mm×26.1mm (7.8”x4.4”x1.0”), makes it easy to fit in your pocket. With the Wellue® 12-lead ECG tablet, you can make heart diagnoses everywhere immediately on your hand. 

There are two measuring methods to choose from 9 leads and 12 leads. Whether in an ambulance, fire rescue or field medical, air rescue, no need to print, editing EKG reports, analyzing, reviewing, and saving data will all take place in one touch-screen tablet. Most importantly, this tablet supports file sharing between Android devices, therefore the EMS team can send reports to the hospital on their way. Once a physician confirms the result, the hospital can take the patient with a severe heart attack to the cath lab directly. Wellue® 12-Lead ECG tablet helps to make faster cardiac medical decisions and will largely improve the efficiency of heart diagnosis.

Biocare 12-Lead EKG Machine

12-Lead EKG Machine

This portable EKG machine only weighs 1.3kg (2.9lbs). Compares to many EKG devices which normally weigh about 2kg (4.4lbs), this EKG machine is definitely an indispensable tool in the EMS toolkit.

The set includes a metal handle for emergency staff to carry around in the rescue.

This compact machine is also equipped with a printer,  which prints out the analysis in 3×4 format. So you can get a quick view of your patients in just a few seconds, and pass the result to cardiologists or physicians so that the hospital can get ready in advance.

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