New device links EMTs to lab

By Thomas Garcia, PNT Staff Writer

Roosevelt General Hospital will be the first regional hospital in the Covenant Health System based in Lubbock to use new technology for the treatment of cardiac arrest patients.

City of Portales ambulances that transport patients to RGH and Lubbock will soon have LIFEPAK 12 units that will be linked with a cardiologist at Covenant Health System.

The monitor can detect and read any cardiac irregularity, including an elevated myocardial infarction, which is the most common type of acute coronary syndrome, according to Matt Foster, RGH trauma medical director.

Acute coronary syndrome is when there is a blockage of circulation to a part of the heart.

“This link will allow us to transmit the information of a cardiac patient’s electrocardiogram (EKG) to a cardiologist and cardiac catheterization laboratory in Lubbock instantly,” said Melissa Tokarski, RGH emergency room director.

The hospital is waiting for a wireless transmission system to be installed into one of the two LIFEPACK 12 units before the system goes online, Tokarski said.

The most common type of cardiac arrest is an elevated myocardial infarction, known as a STEMI.

“The sooner we can intervene with the onset of a STEMI, the better,” Foster said. “Quicker response and treatment could result in faster recovery of the patient.”
The goal is to transport a patient to a catheterization lab in Lubbock within 90 minutes of the onset of the symptoms of cardiac arrest.

If the patient cannot be transported in that time, they are administered thrombalitics, which will help to restore flow of blood and lessen the damage done to the heart muscle until they reach the cath lab, Tokarski said.

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ST segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI): This heart attack, or MI, is caused by a prolonged period of blocked blood supply. It affects a large area of the heart muscle, and causes changes on the EKG as well as chemical markers in the blood.
Source: myclevelandclinic.org