Medic 1 Ambulance Honored for Heart Attack Care
Jun 17, 2015 Share

In emergencies, seconds count.

This is especially true when someone is having a type of heart attack called a STEMI (ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction).

“It’s the most serious type of heart attack,” said KathieThomas, director of quality and systems improvement with the American Heart Association.

Medic 1 Ambulance in Benton Township is one of six ambulance services in Michigan to receive a 2015 Silver Mission Lifeline EMS Award from the American Heart Association for meeting certain criteria at least 75 percent of the time in the care of STEMI patients.

Thomas said this criteria includes STEMI patients being transported directly to a STEMI receiving center in 90 minutes or less.

Medic 1 Director Jack Fisher Jr. said his agency’s use of the LifePak 15 heart monitor and defibrillator is what made the award possible. He said the monitor maps out exactly what the patient’s heart is doing in 12 different areas, with that map sent to Lakeland Medical Center’s Emergency Room before the ambulance leaves the patient’s house.

“We’re able to do exactly in the field now what the hospital can do,”Carl Brasier, a paramedic with Medic One for 35 years. “We’re able to get the heart stabilized so the patient is able to be transported safely.”

If it is determined that the paramedics are treating a STEMI patient, they are told to take the patient directly to the catheter lab rather than to the emergency room, said Nicole Smith, clinical coordinator with Medic One.

Thomas said the award recognizes the cooperation between ambulance services and hospitals.

Carolyn Burger, clinical performance coordinator with Lakeland, said STEMI heart attacks aren’t the most common, but they are the most deadly.

Fisher said his agency uses the LifePak 15 more than 100 times a month, with 10 to 12 of those turning out to be STEMI patients.

In STEMI patients, the coronary artery is blocked. Early treatment minimizes the amount of heart muscle damage, increasing the survival rate and reducing complications.

Thomas said the award was started two years ago. Fisher said Medic One started using the LifePak 15 about four years ago.

Learn more about heart care at Lakeland

*Story by Louise Wrege originally featured in the June 17, 2015, issue of the Herald-Palladium

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