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Yolo County Emergency Medical Service Agency receives recognition | Health

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Yolo County Emergency Medical Service Agency receives recognition
Yolo County Emergency Medical Service Agency receives recognition

Yolo County Emergency Medical Service Agency has received the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline EMS Silver Award for implementing quality improvement measures for the treatment of patients who experience severe heart attacks.

Every year, more than 250,000 people experience an ST elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) the most 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, either by mechanically opening the blocked vessel or by providing clot-busting medication.  Unfortunately, a significant number of STEMI patients don’t receive this prompt reperfusion therapy, which is critical in restoring blood flow.  Mission: Lifeline seeks to save lives by closing the gaps that separate STEMI patients from timely access to appropriate treatments.  Their recognition program recognizes emergency medical services for their efforts in improving systems of care and the quality of life for these patients.

The American Heart Association developed Mission: Lifeline to transform heart attack patient outcomes by connecting healthcare providers, pre-hospital providers and community stakeholders in a proactive system of care that saves and improves lives—from symptom onset through cardiac rehabilitation. Emergency Medical Service (EMS) providers are vital to the success of Mission: Lifeline.  EMS agencies perform 12-lead ECGs which measure the electrical activity of the heart and can help determine if a heart attack has occurred. They also follow protocols derived from American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology guidelines.  These correct tools, training and practices allow EMS providers to rapidly identify suspected heart attack patients, promptly notify the medical center and trigger an early response from the awaiting hospital personnel.

Agencies that receive the Mission: Lifeline Silver award have demonstrated at least 75 percent compliance for each required achievement measure for one year.

“EMTs and 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 the Yolo County EMS Agency for achieving this award that shows it meets evidence-based guidelines in the treatment of people who have severe heart attacks.”

“The Yolo County EMS Agency is dedicated to making our service among the best in the country, and the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline program is helping us accomplish that by implementing processes for improving systems of care with the goal of improving the quality of care for all acute coronary syndrome patients,” said Kristin Weivoda, EMS administrator.  “We are pleased to be recognized for our dedication and achievements in emergency medical care for all Yolo County cardiac patients.”

“We are honored to receive this distinction from the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline program,” said David Barnes, MD, Yolo County EMS medical director.  “The award recognizes not only the agency’s commitment to improving quality of care and patient-centered outcomes, but also the contributions of all the emergency medical services providers in Yolo County, from the firefighters and paramedics who respond first to victims in the field, to the physicians, nurses and allied health professionals in the hospitals who complete the chain of survival.  This was, and continues to be, a team effort—a continual collaboration to improve the system of care for patients who suffer from acute coronary syndromes, including heart attacks.”