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Dr. Gregory Brammer -- Supports Expanded Point-of-Care Testing in the Pre-Hospital Arena

December 24, 2015 - NEW YORK, NY

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - December 23, 2015) - Renowned Emergency Medicine Expert Physician Dr. Gregory Brammer has voiced his opinion regarding Point-of-Care-Testing (POCT) and the 2014 EMSWORLD article entitled "WHAT'S THE POINT of Point-of-Care Testing", where the vast potential of POCT was extolled. For decades, paramedicine has been limited to measuring blood glucose levels on a glucometer. Yet, as Dr. Brammer notes, "For several years, there have been about 16 additional tests applicable for pre-hospital use, which could cause a major shift in the treatment of patients and the time saved could save thousands of lives each year."

The POCT assays are performed using a handheld portable analyzer, with a variety of very small test cartridges. Some of these contain as many as 11 tests. As deemed appropriate by the paramedic, specific cartridges are filled with a few drops of blood and are inserted into the analyzer with most results available in as little as two minutes, with a maximum of 10 minutes. As early as 2010, the use of expanded POCT has been implemented in multiple fire departments under Dr. Brammer's supervision with outstanding results. "I was an early adopter of expanded POCT and in my opinion, there are far too few fire departments utilizing them," says Dr. Brammer.

Point-of-Care-Testing policies are established by state and federal agencies. Some of these tests have been approved for immediate use and granted waived status. There is anticipation that further tests will be waived. According to Dr. Brammer, the i-STAT system from Abbot Laboratories is currently being used in both rural and metropolitan fire departments. "After reviewing countless scientific journal articles, all 16 tests have demonstrated equivalent field accuracy versus standardized hospital laboratory testing. Therefore, we have employed all 16 tests (waived or non-waived) in our arsenal," explains Dr. Brammer.

Dr. Gregory Brammer, MD, FACEP has developed an intense proprietary two-day seminar addressing the procedural use of the i-STAT system and a didactic component using Socratic methodology. Emergency department physicians are tasked with providing ongoing education to paramedics certified to use this system. "The most salient issue not addressed in the literature is that all paramedics can eventually achieve competency in expanded POCT use and interpretation," advises Dr. Brammer.

The vast majority of EMS providers embrace the program and feel empowered, thus increasing job satisfaction. The expanded POCT program does not interfere with the standard workup of the paramedics but paradoxically, per Dr. Brammer, do a better job through greater "ownership" of the patient. "As Emergency Department (ED) attending physicians, we have the option of using all of the expanded POCT results brought to us by the paramedics. Note, as of today, all of these tests are repeated in the standard hospital setting where the entire process from order to results is approximately 75 minutes. By contrast, using the test results provided by paramedics upon the patient's arrival allows us to make critical decisions within seconds and determines how quickly we must act on the patient's behalf including immediate resuscitation measures."

Dr. Brammer thoroughly explains how countless lives could be saved by expanded POCT: "Test results obtained during transport in rural, and even metropolitan settings, can result in the recognition and treatment of such conditions as hyperkalemia (high potassium). Additionally, particularly in rural settings, the destination hospital can be correctly chosen when a patient's cardiac marker (cTnI) is elevated in the setting of chest pain with a non-diagnostic EKG confirming the diagnosis of a heart attack. By confirming this diagnosis, the patient is transferred to an appropriate hospital facility with cardiac catheterization capabilities, saving countless hours by going to the correct receiving facility."

Dr. Gregory Brammer, MD is a Board Certified and Board Trained Emergency Medicine Physician with almost 20 years of experience. His works have been published in the Annals of Emergency Medicine and Veterinary & Human Toxicology, due to his expertise as an EMS Specialist, Physician, Cardiac Resuscitation Expert and Educator. Dr. Brammer has served an estimated 2.5 million people over the course of his medical career. As an international speaker and consultant, he has spoken and lectured on the subjects of Point-of-Care-Testing, Emergency Medicine Services, and other topics related to health and medicine.

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