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Posted on May 20, 2014 | 2:32 p.m.

Santa Barbara County Receives American Heart Association’s Lifeline EMS Recognition Award

Source: Santa Barbara County Emergency Medical Services

The Emergency Medical Services Agency thanks and acknowledges our local hospitals and EMS providers for their contributions to the EMS System in Santa Barbara County during EMS week, May 19-23.

As a testament to their dedication and commitment, the Santa Barbara County Emergency Medical Services Agency has received the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline EMS Silver Award.

The Santa Barbara County EMS system is recognized for its success implementing specific quality improvement measures for the treatment of patients who suffer the most serious type of heart attack, known as a STEMI (ST segment Elevation Myocardial Infarction).

Santa Barbara County’s STEMI program is driving improvements in the care and outcomes of STEMI patients. The Mission: Lifeline EMS Silver award is based on meeting the achievement measures for all four calendar quarters with no single measure scoring below 75 percent.

The individual measures are as follows:

• Percentage of patients with non-traumatic chest pain > 35 years of age, treated and transported by EMS who receives a pre-hospital 12 Lead ECG. Santa Barbara exceeded this requirement in all four quarters, achieving an annual 82%.

• Percentage of STEMI patients transported to a STEMI Receiving Center, with pre-hospital First Medical Contact (FMC) to Device (PCI) < 90 Minutes. Santa Barbara exceeded this requirement in all four quarters, achieving an annual 92.6 percent.

Every year, almost 300,000 people experience a STEMI, a type of heart attack caused by a complete blockage of blood flow to the heart that requires timely treatment. In 2013, 120 patients were treated by the EMS system and in local hospital emergency departments. Heart Disease continues to be a leading cause of premature death, causing 773 of the total 2,986 deaths in the county in 2012.

“American Heart Association commends Santa Barbara EMS Agency for this achievement award, which reflects a significant commitment to improve the quality of care for heart attack patients,” said A. Gray Ellrodt, M.D., chair of the Mission: Lifeline committee and chief of medicine at the Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield, Mass. “All too many heart attack patients in the United States still fail to receive appropriate treatment for their life-threatening condition within the recommended timeframes. We must all continue this important work to streamline and coordinate regional systems of care to save lives and prevent complications.”

“Santa Barbara EMS Agency is dedicated to making our County among the best in the country, and the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline program is helping us accomplish that by implementing processes for improving STEMI systems of care with the goal of improving the quality of care for all STEMI patients,” said Angelo Salvucci, M.D., Santa Barbara County EMS Agency medical director “We are pleased to be recognized for our dedication and achievements in emergency medical care for STEMI patients.”

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