Butterflies in the Emergency Room

Nevada Regional Medical Center (NRMC) has recently began utilizing new medical technology to provide point-of-care-ultrasound. For more than 50 years ultrasound technology has been based on the same hardware. Traditionally this involves large equipment.

Today, NRMC healthcare providers have the power of ultrasound in the palm of their hands with a compact ultrasound technology, called Butterfly IQ. The Butterfly allows physicians to convert a tablet or cell phone into a monitor for the ultrasound machine.  This state-of-the-art technology has numerous advantages. 

In the emergency room, the time savings is a significant benefit. Using the Butterfly allows for a Focused Assessment with Sonography for Trauma (FAST) exam and aid the quick location of veins for IV access.

If a patient presents with very low blood pressure, the doctor doesn’t have to send the patient off to radiology. Instead he can simply plug in the Butterfly to quickly examine the chest cavity and check the left ventricular function to see if it involves fluid around the heart or lungs. 

Providers in many departments of NRMC are happy to utilize the new technology as well. Larry Seals, DO can use the device for prenatal exams. Steve Marquardt, CRNA, NSPM provides interventional pain management at NRMC. Prior to a surgery, Marquardt is often called upon to inject anesthesia into a specific nerve to numb the area of the body where the surgery will take place. With Butterfly, he will be able to pinpoint the precise nerve within seconds. 

Use of the new device is expected to improve patient satisfaction by decreasing wait times for some ultrasound procedures. Most importantly, it will be readily available during a trauma, when life-saving minutes count, such as a suspected internal bleed or cardiac issue.