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American Heart Association EMS Survey Uncovers Deficiencies in Response, Treatment and Transfer of Patients With Most Deadly Heart Attacks
Date:2/16/2009

eir state or region and share it with coalitions composed of EMS and hospital personnel, physicians and nurses and health policy makers. The coalitions will use the information to create appropriate plans to improve the care of STEMI patients.

"EMS systems are the point of entry for all heart attack patients and are extremely important to reducing delays to STEMI care," said Alice K. Jacobs, M.D., former president of the American Heart Association and chair of the Mission: Lifeline advisory working group. "Our survey provides the American Heart Association and its coalition partners a great snapshot of their local EMS and where we need to make progress. It confirms the need for better coordination between EMS, emergency departments and hospitals in order to do what's best for the patient."

Other findings include:

  • More paramedics should receive training on interpreting 12 lead ECGs.
  • Funding is needed for additional 12 lead ECG devices and training.
  • Information sharing between EMS and hospitals is poor, so it's difficult to track the quality of care a patient receives as they move from EMS to hospital-based care. Confidentiality requirements are hindering the process.

The need for Mission: Lifeline

Each year, about 400,000 people in the U.S. have a type of heart attack known as STEMI, in which blood flow is completely blocked to a portion of the heart. Unless the blockage is eliminated quickly, the patient's health and life are at serious risk. The American Heart Association recommends that STEMI patients receive PCI procedures like angioplasty to restore blood flow to the heart muscle within 90 minutes. The association created Mission: Lifeline to close the gaps that separate STEMI patients from timely access to appropriate treatment. For more information ab
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SOURCE American Heart Association
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