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Medical City Hospital Partners With Dallas Fire-Rescue to Outfit First Mobile Units in Dallas County With Advanced EKG Technology
Date:4/30/2010

DALLAS, April 30 /PRNewswire/ -- A partnership announced today between Medical City Hospital and Dallas Fire-Rescue (DFR) now provides Dallas residents with the benefit of potential life-saving technology, as Medical City recently helped outfit all DFR rescue units with state-of-the-art LIFENET STEMI Management Solution cardiac alert devices.

The LIFENET device, a unique combination of web, broadband and medical technology, will drastically reduce the time it takes for a heart attack patient to receive the life-saving angioplasty procedure that gets their blood flowing again. This significant upgrade in technology could help save the lives of patients experiencing STEMI (ST-elevation myocardial infarction), a dangerous form of heart attack that impedes or blocks blood flow to the heart.

The partnership makes Dallas the second-largest city in the United States whose primary 911 agency is outfitted with the LIFENET system. Medical City also will be the first and only hospital in Dallas County capable of receiving patients connected to the LIFENET system.

All paramedics within DFR's Emergency Medical Services system are trained to recognize these particular electrocardiogram (EKG) strips and identify markers within those strips that warrant the use of the STEMI software. In conjunction, all 45 DFR rescue units as well as two Advanced Life Support (ALS) vehicles will carry the monitors that will support the transmission of this life saving data.

How the LIFENET System Can Save Lives

  • The LIFENET system allows paramedics to use the latest broadband technology to transmit 12-lead EKGs from the field to a web-based system at the hospital.
  • The system then distributes the information via the Internet to care teams at the hospital's ER, catheterization lab and the cardiologist's handheld device.
  • Rapid delivery of the EKG data allows Medical City to prepare for the patient's arrival ahead of time.
  • Medical City also will be able to make treatment decisions while the patient is still in transport.
  • Knowing the diagnosis before the patient arrives at Medical City can significantly reduce the amount of time it takes to care for the patient upon arrival and improve overall patient outcomes.
  • The standard guideline for this treatment process is currently 90 minutes. With the new software, DFR hopes to eventually shorten the process to 60 minutes or less.

"Our investment associated with providing this technology pales in comparison to the advantage that Dallas Fire-Rescue emergency personnel and Medical City physicians now have when diagnosing and treating heart attack patients," said Erol Akdamar, president and chief executive officer of Medical City. "We saw a need that we believed we could fill and we are honored to be able to support Dallas Fire-Rescue and serve our community in this way."

"The technology in itself is remarkable," said DFR's deputy chief of the EMS Response Bureau, Bobby D. Ross, "but even more remarkable is that it puts us at the cutting edge of pre-hospital cardiac care."

Because STEMI affects one or more of the arteries that carry blood to the heart, it poses a serious threat to the heart muscle. Studies show that time from the onset of STEMI to treatment at the hospital is critical for improving survival and outcomes for these patients.

With the LIFENET system, Medical City will be able make treatment decisions while the patient is still in transport ensuring that Medical City care teams will continue meeting and eventually surpass the guidelines for treatment in 90 minutes or less, as recommended by the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology.

"When it comes to heart attacks, lost time can mean lost heart muscle," said Dr. Matthew Bush, medical director of emergency services at Medical City. "Anything we can do to accelerate how we diagnose and receive information on incoming patients helps us fight against the damage that lost time can cause in these cases."

"This technology benefits the citizens of our community and will save lives," said Eric Eichhorn, interventional cardiologist and medical director of the Dallas Heart Group at Medical City. "It was the right thing to do for our community and will make a difference in outcomes as patients will be treated 20 to 30 minutes sooner."

About Medical City Dallas Hospital

Founded in 1974, Medical City is recognized for its state-of-the-art medical facilities and commitment to excellence in patient care. Located in Dallas the hospital's medical team consists of more than 1,150 physicians, many of whom are recognized as the world's best in their specialties. Medical City is home to one of the nation's premier heart transplant and surgery centers, Medical City Heart, and the world-class pediatric hospital, Medical City Children's Hospital. The 660-bed comprehensive medical center also includes a breadth of nationally and internationally acclaimed specialty programs, including cardiovascular, craniofacial, bariatric, oncology and transplant services. A testament to its quality patient care, Medical City is one of fewer than 300 medical centers nationwide that has been granted the prestigious Magnet status for nursing excellence - the American Nurses Credentialing Center's highest honor. Medical City is also the only hospital in North Texas to be re-designated through the Magnet Program. In 2006, Medical City was ranked 15th out of the 50 "Best Places to Work" in Texas by Texas Monthly magazine. More information about Medical City is available at http://www.medicalcityhospital.com.

About Dallas Fire and Rescue

Dallas Fire-Rescue (DFR) exists to provide the citizens of Dallas the most effective and rapid emergency, fire, rescue, and prevention services in an ever-changing environment. Since the opening of the first fire station in 1907, the name Dallas Fire Department has been synonymous with putting out fires. Over time though, due in part to fire education as well as fire retardant building construction, fire calls have taken somewhat of a back seat to another aspect of our services. Today, with over 90% of calls being medical in nature, Dallas Fire-Rescue has now become an EMS based fire department. The mission however, still remains the same: to prevent and suppress fires, educate and rescue citizens, provide emergency medical services, promote public safety and foster community relations, with a vision to become a world class fire department that sets an exemplary standard in fire prevention, rescue, suppression, and EMS through progressive leadership and innovative practices. More information about Dallas Fire-Rescue is available at http://www.dallasfirerescue.com/.


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SOURCE Medical City Dallas Hospital
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