CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - Firefighters now have the ability to send an EKG of your heart within seconds of arriving at your location in an emergency.
“Oh, it could save someone’s life. Matter of fact, actually it’ll change their outcome.”
Travis Hollis, the City of Cape Girardeau’s fire chief, is talking about a new feature on their Zoll monitor and defibrillator machines.
“Previously we had to print a strip like this and hand that to the doctor once the patient arrived to the hospital. Now the doctor receives this while we’re still in the patient’s living,” said Hollis. “Every second that the doctor’s not prepared to receive that patient is a time that that heart or that brain is dying.”
Now, firefighters can send patient’s EKG results back to the hospital before an ambulance even arrives if they’re having symptoms of a heart attack.
If emergency room staff sees an artery is completely blocked, Dr. Steven Joggerst, an Interventional Cardiologist at Saint Francis Healthcare System, said it’s important to start surgery and open the artery as quickly as possible.
“So you can imagine if we know ten, fifteen, twenty minutes ahead of time when they’re in the field and they let us know hey we’re bringing in a heart attack we can have everything ready such that by the time they come in we’re ready to go,” said Dr. Joggerst. “It helps to have coordinated care, not just from the emergency room but from the time they see the patient in the field.”
According to the city, those monitors were bought with the Health Fund, which is funded majorly from taxes.