Allentown EMS is being honored for the fifth consecutive year by the American Heart Association for its treatment of victims of a heart attack.
Allentown EMS has received the 2019 American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline® EMS Gold Plus Award for implementing quality improvement measures for the treatment of patients who experience severe heart attacks.
Every year, across the country more than 250,000 people experience an ST elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) the deadliest 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, either by mechanically opening the blocked vessel or by providing clot-busting medication.
The Mission: Lifeline initiative provides tools, training and other resources to support heart attack care following protocols from the most recent evidence-based treatment guidelines. 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 the medical center and trigger an early response from the awaiting hospital personnel.
“Allentown EMS is dedicated to providing optimal care for heart attack patients,” said Chief of Operations Eric Gratz. “We are very proud to be recognized for our dedication and achievements in emergency medical care efforts through Mission: Lifeline. It is a gold level that we have been able to prove and maintain for four years running now and we earned a silver back in 2014. We are committed to making our service stand up to the best in the nation, and the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline program is helping us achieve that by implementing processes for improving systems of care. Heart attack victims need our best work and we pledge to give it to them every single day.”
“EMTs and paramedics play a vital part in the system of care for those who have heart attacks,” said Tim Henry, M.D., Chair of the Mission: Lifeline 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 Allentown EMS for achieving this award in following evidence-based guidelines in the treatment of people who have severe heart attacks.”
Agencies that receive the Mission: Lifeline Gold award have demonstrated at least 75 percent compliance for each required achievement measure for two years. The Plus designation is added for achieving at least 75 percent compliance of 12 lead ECGs performed on patients in the field with an initial complaint of non-traumatic chest pain ≥ 35 years (who were transported), within 10 minutes of EMS (12 lead capable) arrival to the patient. Allentown EMS achieved the Plus designation for three consecutive years.