Every 25 seconds, an American will suffer a coronary event. About every minute someone will die from one. These statistics from the American Heart Association are alarming and one of the many reasons why Saline Memorial Hospital (SMH) is taking steps to decrease those numbers. Saline Memorial announced today that it recently purchased the new ZOLL E Series® monitors to equip its ambulances in an effort to enhance cardiac care for citizens of Saline County.
“This is great benefit to Saline County,” said Randy Fortner,” SMH President and CEO. “These new machines will enhance our ability to treat cardiac emergencies and we’re grateful for the community’s commitment in supporting this effort.”
Heart monitor/defibrillators are standard equipment for emergency medical personnel and are critical for patients experiencing sudden cardiac arrest. Sudden cardiac arrest is an abrupt disruption of the heart’s function, most commonly when the heart only quivers or ‘fibrillates’, thereby causing a lack of blood flow to vital organs.
The ZOLL E Series, a defibrillator specifically designed for professional rescuers, is the latest technology in resuscitation equipment designed to meet the specific demands and extreme conditions that Saline Memorial EMTs and paramedics face every day.
“This new technology will allow paramedics to quickly determine if the patient is having ST elevation (heart attack) and transmit this EKG tracing to the Emergency Department doctor before the ambulance has even left the scene,” said Matt Brumley, SMH Ambulance Director. “Life saving measures can be started in the ambulance as indicated. This allows for critical time saving measures which are vital in saving cardiac muscle.”
Each year over 400,000 patients are admitted to US hospitals with this condition. The best chance for a good outcome for these patients is if they are able to receive PCI (primary percutaneous cardiac intervention) or angioplasty within 90 minutes of their arrival at the hospital.
“Our goal with the ambulance service, the emergency department, the cardiac cath lab, and the in-patient services at SMH, is to get blood flow back to the heart as quickly as possible,” said Dr. Scott Archer, SMH Emergency Department Medical Director. “As soon as the emergency department doctor sees the signs of a heart attack on the EKG, the cardiac cath lab can be notified even before the patient reaches the hospital. When the patient does arrive at SMH, a whole team will already be assembled to immediately work together in order to restore blood flow to the heart. This integrated approach, beginning with the ambulance and proceeding all the way through to the patient’s recovery in the hospital, is now made possible with the use of the new Zoll E Series.”
Proceeds from Saline Memorial Health Foundation events, such as the 2009 Swing Fore Saline Golf tournament and The Beat Goes On 5K, went towards purchasing these monitors. The Hospital also gave $100,000 to meet the difference.
“Even during tough economic times, we’re determined to find ways to meet the needs of our community,” said Fortner. “This is an investment that will help save lives and you can’t put a price tag on that. This was a partnership between the community and SMH and something we can all be proud of.”
SMH EMT’s and paramedics have been trained and educated on these new monitors and are currently using them to treat patients.
“Once a person is in sudden cardiac arrest, every minute counts to get the heart beating normally again and restore adequate blood flow”, said Brumley. “With this upgraded technology, we are better equipped to protect the lives of Saline County citizens whom we are honored to serve.”
Michael Gass, SMH EMT and Ray Lewis, SMH Paramedic display the new cardiac monitors recently installed in the ambulances. These monitors allow EMS personnel to quickly determine if a patient is having ST elevation (heart attack) and transmit the EKG tracing to the Emergency Department doctor before the ambulance has even left the scene. This allows for critical time saving measures which are vital in saving cardiac muscle. Funds raised through the 2009 SMH Golf Tournament and SMH 5K race combined with additional hospital funds made this possible.