Paramedics Go For The Gold

In 2014, St. Charles County Ambulance District [SCCAD] Paramedics brought home bronze. Last year, they secured Silver status. This year, Paramedics in St. Charles County are celebrating their American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline®EMS Gold Award 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’s 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 the 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 Paramedics and leadership staff are elated to be recognized at this high level, but are quick to highlight that it is their collaborative relationships with area hospitals that made it possible.

“We’re working diligently with our partners at Barnes St. Peters, Progress West, SSM St. Joseph and SSM St. Joseph West to develop processes and protocols with the goal of improving the quality of care for STEMI patients,” said John Romeo, Deputy Chief Medical Officer for SCCAD.