EMS credits WhatsApp with aiding in faster heart attack response
The messaging app is used to send diagnostic electrocardiograms directly to hospital cath labs
By EMS1 Staff
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — A recent observational study found that the use of a messaging app by EMS providers in Argentina is associated with faster heart attack treatment.
Medical Express reported that EMS providers were using WhatsApp to bypass the ER and send diagnostic electrocardiograms directly to hospital cath labs.
"More than 42,000 heart attacks occur in Argentina every year," study author Dr. Nicolás Lalor said. "The mortality rate from ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) has declined in recent years but is still 8-12%. Patients have the best chance of survival when they receive primary angioplasty to restore blood flow to blocked arteries within 90 minutes of contacting the health service.”
Dr. Lalor and his team observed different hospital admission routes and found that the use of WhatsApp significantly lowered the mortality rate, as well as the length of the hospital stay.
"We found that notifying the cath lab in advance using WhatsApp and transferring patients directly from the ambulance, bypassing the emergency department, led to quicker treatment and better outcomes for patients with STEMI,” Dr. Lalor said. “Advanced notification enables hospital staff to prepare the cath lab and the doctor is ready to start primary angioplasty when the patient arrives."
"Using WhatsApp on a smartphone is a cheap and easy way for ambulance and hospital doctors to communicate and we will be rolling this procedure out to other hospitals in Argentina." Dr. Lalor added.