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Dr. Knapp leading study that puts ultrasound in ambulances

Story Date: Wed, 19 Oct 2011 11:03:00 EDT

Ambulances in the city of Norfolk will soon be equipped with the technology of ultrasound, thanks to an Eastern Virginia Medical School study.

Barry J. Knapp, MD FACEP, is leading the study that will explore if the use of ultrasound can enhance pre-hospital patient care.

Dr. Knapp is an associate professor and the emergency ultrasound fellowship director with the EVMS department of emergency medicine. He also serves as the medical director for Norfolk Fire-Rescue.

Close to 90 paramedics in Norfolk will be trained and equipped with ultrasound machines when answering emergency medical calls in the city. The technology will be used in cases of cardiac arrest and major trauma.

"It's not a question of will ultrasound be beneficial to patients in the pre-hospital setting," Dr. Knapp says, "the question is how soon can we make it readily available."

The study will utilize ultrasound machines manufactured by SonoSite. They cost $60,000 to $70,000 each. According to Dr. Knapp, this is the first large-scale study of its kind to evaluate paramedic training and the clinical accuracy of paramedics using ultrasound in the pre-hospital setting.