June 14—For the first time in Ada County Paramedics’ history, the 911 integrated EMS agency has achieved the American Heart Association’s (AHA) Mission: Lifeline® “Gold Plus” Award, presented by AHA for STEMI (ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction) heart attack patients.
“When Ada County Paramedics identifies a STEMI heart attack in the field, crews quickly alert the hospital cardiologists while still in the field, allowing them to bypass the emergency department,” said Ada County Paramedics’ Deputy Chief Peder Humlen-Ahearn. “This allows us to take the patient directly to the cardiac cath lab for immediate treatment which can save precious minutes, cardiac tissue and lives.”
Each year, more than 250,000 people experience a STEMI, which is the most deadly type of heart attack caused by a blockage of blood flow to the heart that requires timely treatment. 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.
Typically, high-functioning EMS systems that receive the EMS Mission LifeLine awards deliver patients directly to the cardiologist for intervention in less than 90 minutes 75% of the time. Ada County Paramedics has achieved this 90% of the time within the same timeframe. Few agencies nationwide achieve this level.
Prior to this year, Ada County Paramedics received the AHA’s Mission: Lifeline® Gold award in 2018, 2017 and 2016 and the Mission: Lifeline® Silver award in 2015.
“Receiving the Gold Plus award goes to show that working together with the local hospital systems and our allied agencies directly improves patient care allowing us to make the greatest impact to citizens of Ada County,” Humlen-Ahearn said.
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