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Va. EMS agency wins Mission Lifeline Gold STEMI award

EMTs and paramedics play a vital part in the system of care for those experiencing heart attacks


Photo courtesy Richmond Ambulance Authority

RICHMOND, Va. — The Richmond Ambulance Authority has EMS Week off to a good start — with an American Heart Association Mission: Lifeline Gold Award.

Every year, more than 250,000 people experience a STEMI, a type of heart attack caused by a complete blockage of blood flow to the heart requiring timely treatment. To prevent death and restoration of blood flow, as quickly as possible, is critical. This is accomplished either by surgically opening the blocked vessel or by administering clot-busting medication.

EMTs and paramedics play a vital part in the system of care for those experiencing heart attacks. Since they often are the first medical point of contact, precious minutes of life-saving treatment time can be saved by calling a STEMI alert and triggering an early response from the participating STEMI Centers. The association strives to equip first responders with resources and tools to help improve quality of care for patients and to help build systems of care in communities across the U.S.

“The Richmond Ambulance Authority has always been dedicated to making our organization among the best in the country. The American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline program is improving STEMI systems of care with the goal of improving the quality of care for all STEMI patients,” Chief Clinical Officer Wayne Harbour said. “We are pleased to be recognized for our dedication and achievements in emergency medical care for STEMI patients.”

To qualify for a Mission Lifeline Gold Award, RAA had to ensure that it achieved a number of measures including ensuring that a minimum of 75 percent of its STEMI patients arrived at a hospital and received definitive treatment such as a Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI) within 90 minutes of the 911 call for service.

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