American Heart Association honors Osage County EMS for cardiac care

061716-ocems-awardOsage County’s contracted ambulance service has received national recognition for cardiac care. The American Heart Association has awarded Osage County EMS the 2016 Mission: Lifeline EMS Recognition Bronze Award. The honor recognizes OCEMS’s work through progressive protocols and education for the treatment of the most serious of heart attack patients who are suffering from a condition known as STEMI.

STEMI, or ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction, is a type of heart attack caused by a complete blockage of blood flow to the heart, and which requires timely treatment. To prevent death, it is critical to restore blood flow as quickly as possible, either by surgically opening the blocked vessel or by giving clot-busting medication.

The award recognizes emergency medical services agencies that had at least four STEMI patients during 2015 that met the following criteria at least 75 percent of the time: patients were provided access to a 12-lead ECG in less than 10 minutes after patient contact; and patients received a cardiac cath procedure in less than 90 minutes after first contact with the EMS service.

“Our patients deserve the best care we can give them”, said Donna Connell, OCEMS director. “Last year 100 percent of the STEMI patients in Osage County made the 90-minute criteria.”

Every year, more than 250,000 people experience a STEMI. Unfortunately, a significant number don’t receive prompt treatment. AHA’s Mission: Lifeline seeks to save lives by closing the gaps that separate STEMI patients from timely access to appropriate treatments. Mission: Lifeline’s EMS recognition program recognizes emergency responders for their efforts in improving STEMI systems of care and improving the quality of life for these patients.

EMS agencies provide access to 12-lead ECG machines (devices that measures the electrical activity of the heartbeat and can help medical personnel determine if a heart attack has occurred), and follow protocols derived from American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology guidelines. The correct tools and training allow EMS providers to rapidly identify the STEMI, promptly notify the medical center, and trigger an early response from the awaiting hospital personnel.

For more information, visit heart.org.

Information thanks to OCEMS.

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