Quality | Published October 3, 2018

Emergency Medical Services earns American Heart Association recognition

Mount Nittany Medical Center’s emergency medical services department has received the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline EMS Bronze Plus Award for providing exceptional pre-hospital care to patients experiencing severe heart attacks.

Every year, more than a quarter million Americans experience an ST elevation myocardial infarction, or STEMI, the deadliest type of heart attack. STEMIs are caused by a blockage of blood flow to the heart that requires timely treatment. Blood flow must be restored as quickly as possible, either by mechanically opening the blocked vessel or by providing clot-busting medication.

“Achieving this award exemplifies the hard work and dedication that our EMS personnel demonstrate each day in providing not just patient care, but quality patient care, said Rich Kelley, NREMT-P, clinical supervisor, EMS, Mount Nittany Medical Center. “It is imperative that we operate an EMS department that strives to make a difference in patient lives by adopting the most up-to-date, evidence-based medicine practices.”    

The Mission: Lifeline initiative provides the tools, training and other resources to support heart attack care following protocols from the most recent evidence-based treatment guidelines. Mission: Lifeline’s EMS program recognizes emergency medical services for their 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.

“We applaud Mount Nittany Medical Center EMS for achieving this award in following evidence-based guidelines in the treatment of people who have severe heart attacks,” said Tim Henry, MD, Chair of the Mission: Lifeline Acute Coronary Syndrome subcommittee.

“EMTs and paramedics play a vital part in the system of care for those who have heart attacks,” Dr. Henry said. “Since they often are the first medical point of contact, they can save precious minutes of treatment time by activating the emergency response system that alerts hospitals to an incoming heart attack patient.”

For more information on ways Mount Nittany Health is making people healthier, visit mountnittany.org.