ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) – The Rockford Fire Department recently received the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline EMS Gold Award for implementing quality improvement measures for the treatment of patients who experience severe heart attacks.
“The standards set by the American Heart Association are very high and this award directly translates to lives saved right here in Rockford,” Chief Derek Bergsten said. “We are proud to partner with our local hospitals and to be able to recognize the great work of the women and men of the Rockford Fire Department.”
Every year, more than 250,000 people experience an ST elevation myocardial infarction — 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, according to the city of Rockford.
“EMTs and paramedics play a vital part in the system of care for those who have heart attacks,” Tim Henry, M.D., Chair of the Mission: Lifeline Acute Coronary Syndrome Subcommittee said. “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 Rockford Fire for achieving this award in following evidence-based guidelines in the treatment of people who have severe heart attacks.”
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, according to the city of Rockford.
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