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News

Medical Center EMS Receives American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline EMS Recognition Award

Monday, May 19, 2014

Medical Center EMS has received the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline® EMS Bronze 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).

Medical Center EMS is one of 208 EMS agencies in the United States and one of six EMS agencies in Kentucky to receive one of the inaugural Mission: Lifeline® Emergency Medical Services Performance Achievement Awards. Medical Center EMS is one of four EMS agencies in Kentucky and one of 109 agencies in the U.S. to receive the Bronze Award.

Every year, 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. To prevent death, it’s critical to restore blood flow as quickly as possible, either by surgically opening the blocked vessel or by giving clot-busting medication.

Unfortunately, a significant number don't receive prompt reperfusion therapy, which is critical in restoring blood flow. Mission: Lifeline seeks to save lives by closing the gaps that separate STEMI patients from timely access to appropriate treatments. 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.

Emergency Medical System providers are vital to the success of Mission: Lifeline. 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 hospital and trigger an early response from the awaiting hospital personnel.

Agencies that receive the Mission: Lifeline Bronze award have demonstrated at least 75 percent compliance for each required achievement measure for three months (one quarter), and treated at least four STEMI patients for the year.

“We commend Medical Center 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. “All too many heart attack patients in the United States still fail to receive appropriate treatment for their life-threatening condition within the recommended timeframes. We must all continue this important work to streamline and coordinate regional systems of care to save lives and prevent complications.”

“Medical Center EMS is dedicated to making our unit among the best in the country. 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 Randy Fathbruckner, Director of Medical Center EMS. “We are pleased to be recognized for our dedication and achievements in emergency medical care for STEMI patients.”


About Medical Center EMS

Medical Center EMS provides emergency medical services for Warren County including basic life support and advanced life support. Medical Center EMS is one of only two EMS services in Kentucky accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Ambulance Services (CAAS).


About Mission: Lifeline

The American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline® program helps hospitals and emergency medical services develop systems of care that follow proven standards and procedures for STEMI patients. The program works by mobilizing teams across the continuum of care to implement American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology clinical treatment guidelines. For more information, visit heart.org/missionlifeline and heart.org/quality.