In 2014, St. Charles County Ambulance District [SCCAD] paramedics brought home bronze. Last year, they secured silvers. This year, they got gold.
Awarded by the American Heart Association, the Mission: Lifeline® EMS Gold Award recognizes EMS organizations for implementing quality improvement measures for the treatment of patients who experience severe heart attacks.
Each year, more than 250,000 individuals experience an ST elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) – a deadly type of heart attack caused by a blockage of blood flow to the heart that requires timely treatment. To prevent death, it is critical to restore blood flow as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, a significant number of these patients don’t receive this prompt attention.
The correct tools, training, and practices allow SCCAD paramedics to rapidly identify suspected heart attack patients and trigger an early response from awaiting hospital personnel.
Agencies that receive the Mission: Lifeline Gold award have demonstrated at least 75 percent compliance for each required achievement measure for two years.
“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 SCCAD for meeting evidence-based guidelines in the treatment of people who have severe heart attacks.”
SCCAD leadership staff said they are elated to be recognized at this high level, but they also are quick to highlight that it is collaborative relationships with area hospitals that made it possible.
“We’re working diligently with our partners at BJC St. Peters, Progress West, SSM St. Joseph-St. Charles and SSM St. Joseph-Lake Saint Louis to develop processes and protocols with the goal of improving the quality of care for STEMI patients,” John Romeo, deputy chief medical officer for SCCAD, said.