There is a concept in emergency medicine called the "Golden Hour", meaning your chances of surviving major trauma are much greater if your injuries are treated in that first hour after an accident. But before doctors can treat, they have to figure out exactly what your injuries are and often they are hidden.
Anyone who's ever watched E.R. knows that in an emergency time is of the essence. Whether its a heart attack, stroke, or trauma minutes lost can mean lives lost. And the faster doctors can figure out what's wrong, the better your chances. "It was a very piecemeal process because in an adult it usually takes at least 3-4 x-rays to take one leg and 3 or 4 on another leg, and you can see it builds up time and time again,"says Dr. David Livingston.
Plus often the worst looking injury isn't the most life-threatening. And in crises such a motor vehicle accidents there may be several victims all needing x-rays and scans to determine the extent of their injuries. Enter the statscan, an x-ray machine that can take a total body picture with less radiation than a standard chest x-ray. And the pictures are remarkable. High resolution images that can be zoomed in, adjusted for contrast and brightness and examining the patient from head to toe. The statscan helped when Wendell Adamson was taken to university hospital in newark. "All of a sudden a motorcycle comes out of nowhere, hits me, knocks me about 25 feet off the ground, breaks both my legs, um my right leg was dangling, my left leg was messed up real bad," says trauma victim, Wendell Adamson.
Broken bones and internal injuries are clearly visible with the Statscan.Also internal injuries. And since big city E.R.'s get their share of gunshot victims, the Statscan can finds bullets as well, which can often end up a long way from their entry point in the body. "To try to make as many diagnoses and figure out what's going on with this patient as soon as possible," says Dr. David Livingston.
The Statscan is not a miracle machine, it still requires skilled doctors to look at the pictures and make a diagnosis and then treat the injuries. But it does make it faster and easier for doctors to do just that.