Cooper University Health Care’s Emergency Medical Services has received the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline® EMS Gold Plus Achievement Award for implementing specific quality improvement measures to treat patients who suffer severe heart attacks.
“This recognition from the American Heart Association is a testament to the high level of professionalism of Cooper’s emergency medical technicians and paramedics and their commitment to saving lives,” said Rick Rohrbach, BSN, RN, CFRN, CCRN-K, MICP, EMS Director of Air and Ground Services at Cooper.
Each year, 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 is 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.
“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.”
Since January of 2016, Cooper has been providing integrated basic and advanced life support emergency medical services in the city of Camden. Since then, Cooper EMS has responded to more than 208,000 calls, launched several new community initiatives, and served as a trusted community resource. In the past five years, Cooper ALS units consistently arrived on location within the critical eight-minute benchmark in greater than 90% of the calls.