San Juan Regional Medical Center’s Emergency Medical Services Department has received the American Heart Association Mission: Lifeline EMS Gold Plus Award.
The Gold Plus Award is the highest recognition awarded by the American Heart Association, given to EMS departments for implementing quality improvement measures for the treatment of patients who experience severe heart attacks. San Juan Regional Medical Center was the only recipient in New Mexico.
Every year, more than 250,000 people experience an ST elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI), the deadliest type of heart attack caused by a blockage of blood flow to the heart that requires timely treatment. To prevent death, it’s critical to restore blood flow as quickly as possible, either by mechanically opening the blocked vessel or by providing clot-busting medication.
The Mission: Lifeline initiative provides tools, training and other resources to support heart attack care following protocols from the most recent evidence-based treatment guidelines. The program recognizes EMS for its efforts in improving systems of care to rapidly identify suspected heart attack patients, promptly notify the medical center and trigger an early response from the awaiting hospital personnel.
Those guidelines include delivering education in STEMI identification, providing access to 12-lead ECGs and developing protocols based on American Heart Association guidelines. Following these protocols greatly improves the quality of care and quality of life for patients.