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July 2, 2008
MetroAtlanta’s STEMI Alert Program is Saving Lives in Georgia

MetroAtlanta Ambulance Service, a 9-1-1-ambulance service provider in Cobb County, Georgia, in partnership with the WellStar Health System have successfully implemented a pathway to save lives by reducing the time interval between the call for EMS and balloon inflation in the cardiac catheterization lab for patients with ST segment-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI).

At 7:38 AM on July 2, 2008, MetroAtlanta Ambulance responded to a 9-1-1 request of a patient complaining of chest pain. They arrived on scene at 07:44 AM and successfully transmitted a 12-lead ECG showing ST Segment elevation myocardial infarction to a E.R physician at WellStar Kennestone Hospital who quickly made the decision for EMS to bypass the Emergency Department and take the patient straight to the Cardiac Catherization Lab. The patient was on the Cath table at 8:10 AM and the balloon was inflated at 8:31 AM. The total time from the time the patient called 9-1-1 until the balloon was inflated and blood flow restored to the heart was 53 minutes. The national average is 90 minutes. Every minute the heart muscle goes without receiving adequate oxygenation, irreversible damage takes place so each minute we save makes a difference.

Pete Quinones, President/CEO of MetroAtlanta Ambulance Service stated, “Every minute we can eliminate from STEMI recognition to artery restoration is going to result in a better outcome for our patients. It is the ultimate goal and the driving force behind the investment in the technology, the additional training of our Medics and our partnership with WellStar Health System to be able to recognize the problem and take appropriate actions without delay. It takes positive working relationships, coordination and communications between Emergency Services, the Emergency Department and the Cardiac Catherization Lab at WellStar Health System to make the process work and we’ve created a tremendous system and partnership here in Georgia that is saving lives".

Pat Jansen, Vice President of Cardiac Services for WellStar Health System stated, "As the leading provider of cardiac care in this area, we know that decreasing the time to treatment of heart attack saves lives. Partnering with Metro Atlanta Ambulance to send EKGs directly from the field to WellStar Kennestone's Emergency Department saves valuable time in the treatment of a heart attack. Our message is: 'don't wait, don't second guess heart pain.' We have the systems in place to get treatment as fast as possible. We believe every second counts."

MetroAtlanta Ambulance Service is Georgia’s designated 9-1-1-ambulance provider for unincorporated Cobb County including the cities of Acworth, Kennesaw, Marietta and Smyrna. MetroAtlanta Ambulance Service also provides contract interfacility ambulance transportation to 14 hospitals throughout the greater-Atlanta area and north Georgia. The service is one of only 113 nationwide to received accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Ambulance Service signifying they meet the the highest quality standards in the industry.

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