Image: Carrie Frey, Deputy Chief Western Berks Ambulance Association and Anthony Tucci, Executive Director Western Berks Ambulance Association
West Lawn, Pennsylvania – Western Berks Ambulance Association has received the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline®- EMS Gold Plus Achievement Award for the eighth year for implementing specific quality improvement measures to treat patients who suffer severe heart attacks.
Western Berks Ambulance Association is part of an elite group of 60 prehospital agencies in the United States that has met the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline® award criteria every year since the award’s inception in 2014.
The award recognizes commitment and success in implementing a higher standard of prehospital care by ensuring that every STEMI patient receives treatment according to nationally accepted recommendations and standards.
“Achieving the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline® EMS award each year since 2014 exemplifies Western Berks Ambulance Association’s commitment to providing the highest standard level of care and service to our patients and our community. Using the Mission: Lifeline® goals as benchmarks has ultimately led to better patient outcomes,” said Anthony Tucci, executive director of Western Berks Ambulance Association.
Each 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 is critical to restore blood flow as quickly as possible, either by mechanically opening the blocked vessel or by providing clot-busting medication.
The American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline® program helps reduce barriers to prompt treatment for heart attacks – starting from when 9-1-1 is called, to EMS transport and continuing through hospital treatment and discharge. Optimal care for heart attack patients takes coordination between the individual hospital, EMS and healthcare system.
“EMTs and paramedics play a vital part in the system of care for those who have heart attacks,” said Tim Henry, M.D., chair of the Mission: Lifeline® Acute Coronary Syndrome Subcommittee. “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.”
Program participants apply for the award recognition by demonstrating how their organization has committed to improving quality care for STEMI patients.