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Making a difference

Jessamine County EMS receives award for treatment of heart attack sufferers

At a recent fiscal court meeting, Jessamine County EMS was presented an award for implementing quality improvement measures for treatment of patients who suffer severe heart attacks – an honor bestowed on only five agencies in the state.
“Jessamine County EMS, like many other services, seek out this status to demonstrate our commitment to providing quality care to the community,” Floyd Miracle said.
“There is no other incentive for receiving this award, other than our EMTs and paramedics knowing that what they are doing is making a difference.”
More than 250,000 experience sever heart attacks a year.
To prevent death, it is crucial to restore blood flow as quickly as possible. Mission Lifeline provides tools, training and other recourses to support heart attack by following the most recent and up to date evidence-based treatment guidelines.
“This is mostly a performance-based award which we have received for four consecutive years,” Miracle said.
“The standards you must meet to receive this award are ingrained in our system. The greatest resource is the high caliber of people that work for Jessamine County EMS. Additionally, we receive a lot of support from the cardiac receiving centers that we transport directly to in terms of feedback and patient outcome.”
Miracle stated historically Jessamine County would take a heart attack sufferer to the closest hospital regardless of their complaint.
“Now, we determine the most appropriate hospital based on their complaint, the assessment of the providers, and the electrocardiogram,” Miracle said. “If the providers determine the patient is having a heart attack or a stroke they will transport directly to a facility capable of caring for them, with the patients permission, of course.”
Miracle said Jessamine County EMS uses charting software to look at past performances and develop new initiatives in order to make quality improvements for the patients they serve.
“Having received this award for consecutive years, it shows that the quality improvement efforts taken by service educators before me have been effective,” he said. “We always focus on things that can make the process more efficient, such as obtaining an electrocardiogram as soon as possible.”
Miracle also said Jessamine County EMS has worked to notify centers immediately of a heart attack patient so delays will be less likely for the patient going to the cardiac cath lab.
Overall, Miracle said it is important for residents to call 911 as soon as possible when they or someone they know is experiencing chest pain or showing stroke like symptoms.
In these instances, EMS can help by providing oxygen, administering medications and has a defibrillation in case the patients heart stops working.
“If you’re having a heart attack or a stroke, time is of the essence,” Miracle said. “Calling an ambulance will ensure you receive timely care and interventions that will reduce the amount of damage to your heart or your brain.”
In the future, Miracle said Jessamine County EMS is looking to improve its rate of bystander CPR.
“If you witness someone collapse and they’re not breathing normally and not responding, you should call 911 and start CPR as soon as possible.”