San Juan Regional Medical Center's Emergency Medical Services (EMS) department has received the American Heart Association's Mission: Lifeline EMS Gold Award. The honor is for departments implementing quality improvement measures to treat patients who experience severe heart attacks. This is the third year in a row the department has received this honor.
Every year, more than 250,000 people experience a STEMI, the deadliest type of heart attack caused by a blockage of blood flow to the heart. To prevent death, it's critical to restore blood flow as quickly as possible. Mission: Lifeline's EMS recognition program recognizes emergency medical services for their efforts in improving systems of care to rapidly identify suspected heart attack patients, promptly notify San Juan Regional Medical Center and trigger an early response from the awaiting hospital personnel.
"EMTs and paramedics play a vital part in the system of care for those who have heart attacks," said Dr. Tim Henry, chair of the award's acute coronary syndrome subcommittee. "Since they often are the first medical point of contact, they can save precious minutes of treatment time by activating the emergency response system that alerts hospitals to an incoming heart attack patient. We applaud San Juan Regional Medical Center for achieving this award in following evidence-based guidelines in the treatment of people who have severe heart attacks."
Those guidelines include delivering education in STEMI identification; providing access to ECGs which measure the electrical activity of the heart and can help determine if a heart attack has occurred; and developing protocols based on American Heart Association guidelines.
Following these protocols greatly improves the quality of care and quality of life for patients.
"Our greatest reward is caring for our patients. That's why we're committed to turning treatment guidelines into lifelines," San Juan Regional Medical Center President and CEO Jeff Bourgeois said. "We are pleased to be recognized for our dedication and achievements in emergency medical care efforts through Mission: Lifeline."