Bella Vista first in the nation to add life-saving technology to ambulances

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It's called a cerebral oximetry machine and it's used to monitor a person's brain, in real-time, when they're in the back of one of an emergency vehicle.

BELLA VISTA, Ark. (KNWA) — The Bella Vista Fire Department is adding a new piece of life-saving technology to its ambulances, making it the first in the nation to do so.

It’s called a cerebral oximetry machine and it’s used to monitor a person’s brain, in real-time, when they’re in the back of one of an emergency vehicle.

Here’s how it works; The machine allows EMS crews to closely watch how oxygen and blood are flowing from the patient’s heart to the brain.

Basically, when a person is experiencing cardiac arrest or something is blocking their airway, first responders can see exactly what’s going on inside the patient’s body.

This gives them better indicators on what the outcome will be.

This type of technology is primarily used in operating rooms, but with funding from Arkansas Trauma System, these first responders are able to bring it directly to the scene of the emergency.

Leon Lieutard, the EMS coordinator for the Bella Vista Fire Department, said, “We’re able to adjust our treatments to the patient’s needs immediately.”

Right now, the department has two pieces of this equipment and based on the data it’s collected so far, Lieutard said his team is eager to get their hands on more.

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