By: Christopher Matthews
Point of Care (POC) testing has been used by EMS for quite a long time. It allows the EMT and Paramedic to follow up on potential causes of a patient’s condition and rule out the things that could be a distraction to good care.
With POC testing, we can check the patient’s oxygen saturation, carbon dioxide levels, heart rhythm, blood sugar, carboxyhemoglobin, other blood gases, cardiac enzymes, and even the patient’s cholesterol.
POC testing used to take several minutes for each test, but with 21st century technology, multiple test results can be returned to us in less than five minutes. Some of the POC tests we can perform have nearly instant results. This can help guide us to provide more certain patient care. It can also help us avoid performing blanket treatments for several possible conditions, like the old fashioned “coma cocktail”.
We discuss some of the new POC options available for EMS field use in this article below.(read more)