Glasgow Daily Times, Glasgow, KY

February 25, 2013

EMS recognized for heart treatment

Glasgow Daily Times

GLASGOW — The Barren-Metcalfe Emergency Medical Services received a plaque Monday in recognition of the team’s efforts in treating severe heart attacks.

As part of The Medical Center at Bowling Green’s STEMI network, Barren-Metcalfe EMS uses 12 lead electrocardiograms (EKGs) to detect when a heart attack is a STEMI, an ST elevation myocardial infarction. A STEMI means a patient has at least one 100 percent blockage in a coronary artery, according to Kristin Smith, R.N. and chest pain coordinator at The Medical Center, who presented EMS director Mike Swift with the plaque Monday morning. Developing a network of emergency services teams that are capable of detecting STEMIs means developing better treatment for those heart attack patients, Smith said.

“It’s a very big deal to us at The Medical Center,” Smith said.

The national goal is for hospitals to be able to restore blood flow to a patient’s coronary artery within 90 minutes of that patient’s arrival, Smith said. With the 12 lead EKGs used by Barren-Metcalfe EMS and other emergency services surrounding The Medical Center, emergency personnel are able to detect a complete blockage and also transmit that blockage information to the hospital. Through that equipment and the joint regional effort, Smith said The Medical Center’s time until restoring blood to the arteries averaged 50 minutes in 2012.

For the full story, read Tuesday's print or e-editions.