Narrator: This is Science Today. A new emergency cardiac monitoring system is being tested out in ambulances in Santa Cruz county – a mountainous region in California where drive times to hospitals are very often long. The system, designed by the University of California, San Francisco, can send vital data by cell phone directly to ER.
Drew: We have a saying that time is muscle, meaning that for ever second and minute that ticks by where the artery is closed, more of the heart muscle is damaged. And that damage is irreversible, it doesn't grow back.
Narrator: Study leader Barbara Drew adds that the new ‘tele-electrocardiography system' gets a dozen views of the heart every 30 seconds and can detect ischemia – the damaging blockage of an artery. Transmitting this information to ER via the phone will speed up treatment.
Drew: The doctors and nurses could see what trouble the heart was in and have things all ready to go, so that when the wheels got to the curb of the emergency department, there would be a minimal delay in opening up the artery.
Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.