Treating Heart Attacks Faster | VideoVan Tieu | 2/12/2013
On his grandson`s birthday five months ago, Inninger was feeling great on his drive to work.
"All of a sudden, I have unbelievable pressure on my chest," he said.
His arm went numb and he went to the university`s training center for help. Luckily, the fire department was across the street and EMTs had electro cardiogram machines to diagnose him at the scene. He was transferred directly to Sanford to re-open his artery. Time was of the essence.
"Thirty-seven minutes is what- from the time they called 911 until I was in recovery," said Inniger
He credits his new chance at life to the American Heart Association`s Mission Life Line initiative, a seven million dollar program that bridges the gap between EMTs and hospitals, by providing all ambulances in the state with what is called an EKG. Now in 95 percent of ambulances, they bring the hospital to the patient into the field.
"They`ll hook up electrodes to the patient`s chest and diagnose the problem right in the field," explains Tom Haldis.
Tom Haldis, the co-coordinator of the initiative, says it`s saving lives. Heart attack patients used to be transported to the hospital for a diagnosis, then to another for life-saving operation. The machines cut the extra steps.
"We find we save 60-90 minutes in that case," he said.
The hospitals even receive vital information before the patient arrives.
"Everything was so right. By the time I got to the hospital, they knew exactly what my symptoms were. They didn`t need to do x-ray or anything like that," said Inniger
Inniger, a jokester, finds the humor in how quickly his life was saved. "They had not found my wife! She was working out at the gymnasium. they had not found her by the time I was in recovery."
Doctors now aim to beat the 37 minute record.
The Mission Lifeline program is a three year initiative that started in late 2011.