For the second year in a row, Richland County EMS has been nationally recognized for its success in treating heart attack patients.
The American Heart Association recently presented Richland County with its Mission: Lifeline EMS Gold Award that recognizes emergency responders for their care of patients who suffer a ST Elevation Myorcardial Infarction, or STEMI – a type of heart attack caused by a complete blockage of blood flow to the heart.
Having the correct tools and appropriately trained EMTs are vital in identifying a STEMI victim and preventing death. Because it is so critical to restore blood flow as quickly as possible, EMS crews must be trained to begin STEMI treatment immediately on scene and continue that care through the duration of transport to a treatment facility.
“EMS is a vital link in the chain of survival for patients suffering a STEMI event,” said Richland County Emergency Services Director Michael Byrd. “Starting treatment protocols in the field and getting the patient to a heart center improves the chance for a positive outcome.”
Richland County EMS received its gold award by having at least a 75 percent adherence to Mission: Lifeline’s quality measures for treating STEMI patients and for maintaining that status for 24 months. Last year, Richland County EMS received its first Mission: Lifeline award — a silver award for meeting the program’s quality measures for 12 months.
“It’s an honor to be recognized by American Heart for our paramedics’ hard work and commitment to heart attack patients,” Byrd said. “We work together with physicians and hospitals to make a difference in patient outcomes.”
The American Heart Association states that receiving a Mission: Lifeline award indicates an organization’s efforts to provide the best pre-hospital care possible to its residents and visitors.