Every year, more than 250,000 people experience an ST elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) the deadliest 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.
Unfortunately, a significant number of STEMI patients don’t receive this 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. 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.
“In STEMI heart attack patient, time is critical to positive outcomes for these patients,” “said Puckett EMS President Steve Puckett. “We continuously work with the emergency department at our local hospitals and provide regular training to our crews on recognizing and appropriately responding to a STEMI patients. We are pleased to have received this award in recognition of our commitment to patient care.”
Emergency Medical System providers are vital to the success of Mission: Lifeline. 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.
Agencies that receive the Mission: Lifeline Silver award have demonstrated at least 75 percent compliance for each required achievement measure for one year.
Puckett EMS uses the latest cardiac monitors and Bluetooth transmitter in every ambulance to send ECG information to the hospital emergency department while the ambulance is en route to reduce “door-to-balloon” times. Close coordination and joint training with hospital emergency department staff is critical to STEMI response.
In 2016, Puckett EMS met and exceeded Mission: Lifeline’s national goals. The agency completed 14 calls where first medical contact to reperfusion was completed within the critical 90-minute window. Puckett EMS’ median time from contact to intervention was 71 minutes, which is 22 percent better than the national standard. Puckett EMS applied an ECG monitoring device STEMI patients in more than 98 percent of patients, which exceeds the 75 percent national goal.
“EMTs and paramedics play a vital part in the system of care for those who have heart attacks,” said James Jollis, M.D., Chair of the Mission: Lifeline Advisory Working Group. “Since they often are 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. We applaud Puckett EMS for achieving this award that shows it meets evidence-based guidelines in the treatment of people who have severe heart attacks.”
About Puckett EMS
Puckett EMS provides 911 emergency and critical care ambulance services to the citizens of Southwest Cobb, Walker and Dade counties located in North Georgia. In addition to operations in Georgia, Puckett EMS provides 911 emergency services to Marion and Sequatchie counties in Tennessee and is the contracted ground transport provider for Erlanger Health Systems in Chattanooga. Puckett EMS is accredited by The Commission on Accreditation of Ambulance Services (CAAS), which signifies that the service has met the gold standard by the ambulance industry. Puckett EMS is one of only five CAAS-accredited EMS services in the State of Georgia. In addition, Puckett EMS is one of only 160 services accredited nationwide by The Commission on Accreditation of Ambulance Services.