The time it takes to get a heart attack victim to the nearest hospital is critically important, the faster the better, of course. The American Heart Association, though, is quick to add that the type of care extended during that brief period, called pre-hospital care, can make the difference between life and death.
That’s the basis for the AHA’s “Mission: Lifeline” program, a campaign to increase awareness and heighten skills for Emergency Medical Service personnel who are tending to persons suffering heart attacks, known medically as cardiac arrest or myocardial infarction.
Mission: Lifeline applies measures to participating EMS crews against four sets of metrics designed to quantify the quality of care and medical outcomes of patients while under their pre-hospital care.
Participating for the first time in 2018, the Prosper EMS program was recognized at the Bronze level, the highest level available to EMS crews participating in their initial year. Silver and Gold levels are awarded to programs that have a multi-year record of excellence in pre-hospital care, making Prosper eligible for these levels in 2019 and beyond.
A formal presentation of the recognition was made at the June 11 Town Council meeting.
“Our paramedics are devoted to being fully prepared when confronted with any and all emergency calls, most especially during a cardiac arrest,” says Fire Chief Stuart Blasingame. “Providing the highest in pre-hospital care means that we can extend lives and improve outcomes. We’re honored that the American Heart Association recognized those efforts.”
The Mission: Lifeline EMS recognition program was launched in 2014 to recognize the achievement of the pre-hospital providers and their collaboration with each other and destination hospitals specifically in the care of STEMI (ST-elevated myocardial infarction) patients. The ST-elevated designation refers to a specific EKG reading. STEMI patients are the most at risk, and thus need the highest level of care and monitoring.
“The most meaningful accolades and recognitions to us are those that come from organizations like the American Heart Association, our partner hospitals and other medical stakeholders,” said the Chief. “But the most important ones are those that result in the survivability and improved quality of life of our residents and their families.”