JONESBORO, IL (KFVS) - Union County Ambulance has received the American Heart Association's Mission: Lifeline EMS Bronze Award for implementing quality improvement measures for the treatment of patients who experience severe heart attacks.
Every year, more than 250,000 people experience an ST elevation myocardial infarction 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.
Unfortunately, a significant number of STEM I 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.
Emergency Medical System providers such as Union County Ambulance have been trained to recognize these important clues when a 12 lead EKG is performed in the field and implement a protocol in conjunction with the Southern Illinois Regional EMS System from Memorial Hospital of Carbondale.
EMS providers can rapidly identify suspected heart attack patients; promptly notify the medical center, and trigger an early response that can direct these patients under protocol to a catheterization lab saving precious time and heart muscle.
"Union County Ambulance is one of 21 agencies state wide that has been recognized in 2016 for their outstanding work in this area of cardiac care. Union County Ambulance is dedicated to making our service among the best, and the American Heart Association's Mission: Lifeline program is helping us accomplish that by implementing processes for improving systems of care with the goal of improving the quality of care for all acute coronary syndrome patients," said Grant Capel, director of Union County Ambulance. "We are pleased to be recognized for our dedication and achievements in emergency medical care for all cardiac patients. This represents a team effort on the part of the Union County EMS Staff in conjunction with our medical control from the Southern Illinois Regional EMS System."