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EMS recognized by American Heart Association

  • Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Dorchester County EMS has received the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline EMS Silver Award that recognizes its commitment and success in implementing specific quality improvement measures for the treatment of patients who suffer a severe heart attack known as a STEMI (ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction).

Agencies that receive the Mission: Lifeline Silver award have demonstrated at least 75 percent compliance for each required achievement measure for the entire year, and treat at least eight STEMI patients for the year.

Nationally, almost 300,000 people experience a STEMI, a type of heart attack caused by a complete blockage of blood flow to the heart that requires timely treatment, each year.

A significant number of STEMI patients don’t receive prompt reperfusion therapy, which is critical in restoring blood flow.

Mission: Lifeline’s new EMS recognition program recognizes those emergency responders for their efforts in improving STEMI systems of care and improving the quality of life for these patients.

“Dorchester County EMS is dedicated to making our unit among the best in the country, and the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline program is helping us accomplish that by implementing processes for improving STEMI systems of care with the goal of improving the quality of care for all STEMI patients,” said Doug Warren, Dorchester County EMS Director. “We are pleased to be recognized for our dedication and achievements in emergency medical care for STEMI patients.

“This award reinforces our commitment to provide the citizens of Dorchester County with the highest level of care possible. We are pleased to be able to partner with Trident Medical Center, MUSC and Roper Hospital to provide this level of excellence in STEMI care to our communities.”

EMS agencies provide education in STEMI identification and access to 12-lead ECG machines and follow protocols derived from American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology guidelines. The correct tools and training allow EMS providers to rapidly identify the STEMI, promptly notify the medical center and trigger and early response from the awaiting hospital personnel.

“We commend Dorchester County EMS for this achievement award, which reflects a significant commitment to improve the quality of care for heart attack patients,” said A. Gray Ellrodt, MD, Chair of the Mission: Lifeline committee and Chief of Medicine at the Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield, Mass. “We must all continue this important work to streamline and coordinate regional systems of care to save lives and prevent complications.”

Todd Gallati, CEO of Trident Health added, “We congratulate Dorchester EMS for this achievement.

“It is a testament to their commitment to emergent heart patients in our community. Our emergency department and heart team at Trident Medical Center have seen firsthand the benefits of the paramedics’ great work.”

Dorchester County Administrator Jason Ward also congratulated EMS on behalf of the county’s citizens.

“I join in the many who have congratulated EMS. Our citizens and visitors to our county benefit greatly from this level of quality emergency care.”

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