Caldwell County EMS has received the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline® EMS Gold Award for implementing quality improvement measures for the treatment of patients who experience severe heart attacks.
Agencies that receive the Mission: Lifeline EMS Gold award have demonstrated at least 75 percent compliance for each required achievement for Mission: Lifeline measurement for two years.
“Caldwell County EMS is dedicated to making our service among the best in the country, and the Mission: Lifeline program is helping us accomplish that by implementing processes that vastly improve the quality of care for all acute coronary syndrome patients,” said Dino DiBernardi, Caldwell County Emergency Services Director. “We are pleased to be recognized for our dedication and achievements in emergency medical care for all cardiac patients.”
Every year, more than 250,000 people experience an ST elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI), the most deadly type of heart attack caused by a blockage of blood flow to the heart. To prevent death, it’s critical to restore blood flow as quickly as possible, either by mechanically opening the blocked vessel or by providing clot-busting medication.
Unfortunately, a significant number of STEMI patients don't receive prompt reperfusion therapy, which is critical in restoring blood flow. Mission: Lifeline seeks to save lives by closing the gaps that separate these patients from timely access to appropriate treatments.
“We applaud Caldwell County EMS for achieving this award that shows it meets evidence-based guidelines in the treatment of people who have severe heart attacks,” said James Jollis, M.D., Chair of the Mission: Lifeline Advisory Working Group. “Since EMS staff are often the first medical point of contact, they can shave precious minutes of life-saving treatment time by activating the emergency response system that alerts hospitals.”
During cardiac calls, Emergency Medical System (EMS) agencies perform 12-lead ECGs which measure the electrical activity of the heart and can help determine if a heart attack has occurred. They also follow protocols derived from American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology guidelines. These correct tools, training, and practices allow EMS providers to rapidly identify suspected heart attack patients, promptly notify the medical center, and trigger an early response from the awaiting hospital personnel.
Mission: Lifeline’s EMS recognition program recognizes emergency medical services for their efforts in improving systems of care and improving the quality of life for these patients.
About Mission: Lifeline
The American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline® program helps hospitals and emergency medical services develop systems of care that follow proven standards and procedures for acute coronary syndrome patients. The program works by mobilizing teams across the continuum of care to implement American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology clinical treatment guidelines. For more information, visit heart.org.