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EMS Earns Heart Association Award

09/01/2021
EMS Earns Heart Association Award

Allentown EMS is being honored for the seventh consecutive year by the American Heart Association for its treatment of heart attack victims.

Allentown EMS has received the 2021 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.

The award recognizes the commitment and success of Allentown EMS in implementing a higher standard of prehospital care by ensuring that every STEMI patient receives treatment according to nationally accepted recommendations and standards.

Allentown EMS has achieved the Plus designation for five consecutive years.

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 American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline program helps reduce barriers to prompt treatment for heart attacks – starting from when 9-1-1 is called, to EMS transport and continuing through hospital treatment and discharge. Optimal care for heart attack patients takes coordination between the individual hospital, EMS and healthcare system.

“Although the pandemic has been a dominant topic, our paramedics are still responding to other emergencies at a record pace,” said Allentown EMS Chief of Operations Eric Gratz.  “Receiving this recognition for another year shows the commitment of Allentown EMS to provide exemplary care to our cardiac patients in their time of need.  Despite the challenges of COVID 19, our clinical care is still at a gold standard level.”

“EMTs and paramedics play a vital part in the system of care for those who have heart attacks,” said Tim Henry, M.D. Chair Mission: Lifeline Acute Coronary Syndrome Subcommittee Chair . “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.”

Program participants apply for the award recognition by demonstrating how their organization has committed to improving quality care for STEMI patients.

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. 

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