Thursday, March 26, 2015

Mobile EKG allows rural Ohio EMTs to relay information to hospital; device helps save lives

A rural northern Ohio hospital has been equipped with technology to help heart attack victims get quicker access to life-saving care, Cheryl Powell reports for the Akron Beacon Journal. Lodi Community Hospital, a 25-bed critical access hospital, recently started a STEMI Rendezvous program that provides area fire departments with wireless cardiac monitors to perform on-the-scene electrocardiograms (EKGs) that can an be transmitted immediately to the hospital. (Journal photo by Mike Cardew: Lodi EMTs get training on the mobile EKG)

Thomas Whelan, president of Akron General community and specialty hospitals, which includes Lod Community, told Powell, “Out here in the rural setting, access is not as bad as in Wyoming, but it’s still difficult to get to care. It’s actually bringing health care right to the patient’s door.”

The new technology saves time by allowing doctors to be ready for an arriving patient, Powell writes. "By using a balloon to open the artery and a stent to keep it open, damage to the heart muscle can be reduced. National guidelines call for a 'door-to-balloon' time of 90 minutes or less," said Dr. S. Leslie Tobias, medical director of Akron General Medical Center’s cath lab. Tobias told Powell, “There’s excellent data if you can get an artery open within 90 minutes of presentation, you will salvage some heart muscle. That’s extremely important.” (Read more)

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