SJRMC praised for work saving heart attack patients

The Daily Times staff
A San Juan County Regional Medical Center Emergency ambulance drives by on Monday, Dec. 23, 2013, on West Maple Street, in Farmington.

FARMINGTON – San Juan Regional Medical Center’s Emergency Medical Services  department’s work to save the lives of people suffering the most serious type of heart attack was recognized with a professional achievement award.

The medical center has received the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline EMS Gold Award “for implementing quality improvement measures to treat patients who experience severe heart attacks. This is the third year in a row we have received this honor,” the hospital announced last week.

“Our greatest reward is caring for our patients. That’s why we’re committed to turning treatment guidelines into lifelines,” San Juan Regional Medical Center President and CEO Jeff Bourgeois said. “We are pleased to be recognized for our dedication and achievements in emergency medical care efforts through Mission: Lifeline.”

More than 250,000 people a year experience a STEMI, the deadliest type of heart attack caused by a blockage of blood flow to the heart, the hospital said in a press release.
“To prevent death, it’s critical to restore blood flow as quickly as possible. Mission: Lifeline’s EMS recognition program recognizes emergency medical services for their efforts in improving systems of care to rapidly identify suspected heart attack patients, promptly notify San Juan Regional Medical Center and trigger an early response from the awaiting hospital personnel,” the release said.

A doctor said trained EMTs make the difference.

“EMTs and paramedics play a vital part in the system of care for those who have heart attacks,” said Tim Henry, M.D., cChair 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. We applaud San Juan Regional Medical Center for achieving this award in following evidence-based guidelines in the treatment of people who have severe heart attacks.”