Mercy EMS Receives American Heart Association Recognition

July 22, 2015

Paramedic Max Crook and EMS Director Eugene Dicksion

Mercy Emergency Medical Services (EMS) has received the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline® EMS Bronze Award for implementing quality improvement measures for the treatment of patients who experience severe heart attacks.

“Mercy is committed to heart care in our community and we are proud of our EMS team for earning this recognition,” said Lori Wightman, president of Mercy Hospital Ada. “We continue to work with our EMS team and our community to make sure the proper equipment (AEDs, Lucas Devices, etc) is provided for emergency responses, yet the training, expertise, and responsiveness of the EMS team is the most important aspect of emergency care.”

Every year, more than 250,000 people experience a a type of heart attack caused by a complete 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 surgically opening the blocked vessel or by giving clot-busting medication.

Unfortunately, a significant number don't receive prompt reperfusion therapy, which is critical in restoring blood flow. Mission: Lifeline seeks to save lives by closing the gaps that separate these heart attack patients from timely access to appropriate treatments. Mission: Lifeline’s EMS recognition program recognizes emergency responders for their efforts in improving emergency systems of care and improving the quality of life for patients.

EMS responders are vital to the success of Mission: Lifeline. EMS agencies provide access to 12-lead ECG machines (that measures the electrical activity of the heartbeat and can help medical personnel determine if a heart attack has occurred), and follow protocols derived from American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology guidelines. The correct tools and training allow EMS providers to rapidly identify the heart attack patients, promptly notify the medical center and trigger an early response from the awaiting hospital personnel. Put simply, Mercy Ada EMS is bringing the tools from the emergency room out to the field, the house, or wherever the patient may be.

“Our EMS team is often the first point of medical contact in emergency situations. We are always looking for ways to improve and better serve our community,” said Eugene Dicksion, director of Mercy EMS. “The American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline program is helping us accomplish our goals of improving the quality of care we give to all STEMI patients. We are thankful for this recognition of our dedication and achievements in emergency medical care for heart attack patients.”