Farmington Hills, MI (January 31, 2006)--- Botsford General Hospital and the Farmington Hills Fire Department have teamed up by sharing important information about a heart attack patient’s condition even before the ambulance reaches the hospital.
A heart attack occurs when the blood supply to the heart muscle is severely reduced or stopped. The reduction or stoppage happens when one or more of the coronary arteries supplying blood to the heart muscle is blocked. This is usually caused by the buildup of plaque. The muscle is strangled and needs to resume blood supply as soon as possible. Using a 12-lead electrocardiogram can allow doctors to see the area of muscle threatened.
The Farmington Hills Fire Department has 12-lead electrocardiogram machines on all five of their ambulances. This equipment allows the paramedics to transmit information on a heart attack patient directly to the hospital before the patient arrives. The EKG transmitted to the hospital works using cellular phone technology. The EKG is hooked up to a cell phone and a digital signal is wired to a computer in the Emergency Department of the hospital. Working together with the Fire Department, the staff at Botsford has the ability to form a team of doctors who will already know the patient’s needs. Dr. David Walters, D.O., Botsford’s Department Chair of Emergency Medicine, says, “Time is muscle. If a piece of muscle dies, it can compromise a person’s standard of living. Working with the Fire Department and using the technology gives us the best chance of returning the person back to his/her current level of functioning.”
While the technology has been in place for about two years, it recently became more important than ever before. On November 1, Botsford began offering emergency angioplasty, the treatment of choice for many heart attacks, instead of having to transport the patient to another hospital. Since November, Botsford has performed twelve angioplasties, all having gone well.
Kevin Bersche, Deputy Fire Chief of the Farmington Hills Fire Department, understands that minutes and even seconds matter when treating a heart attack. Bersche says, “With the 12-lead EKG, the paramedics in the field know exactly what is wrong with the person. Using the equipment with Botsford allows us all to impact a prevalent condition more efficiently and treat the patient definitively.”
In addition to working with Farmington Hills, Botsford has the same relationship with the Southfield Fire Department. Botsford is currently working on a similar compatible system with Redford. As of January 30th, Botsford and Redford were planning to finalize the deal and have three machines in the upcoming weeks for their vehicles. Botsford also has a relationship with Livonia; currently however Livonia cannot electronically transmit the information to the Hospital. Dr. Sanford Vieder, D.O., Botsford’s Chief of Staff and EMS Medical Director, says, “Our next goal is to work with Livonia on upgrading their equipment, so it is compatible with the hospital.”
The Botsford Health Care Continuum is an integrated system of care which includes Botsford General Hospital, the Botsford Physician Network, Community Emergency Medical Service, the Botsford Continuing Care Corporation and the Botsford Center for Health Improvement. The Botsford site on the internet is www.botsfordsystem.org.
Healthy Tips for your Heart
With February as National Heart Month, Botsford General Hospital and the Farmington Hills Fire Department want to remind people to keep control of their health by having regular check-ups.
Here are some tips from Dr. Vieder, Chief of Staff at Botsford, about what puts a person at high risk for a heart attack: High blood pressure, smoking, diabetes, high cholesterol, obesity and genetics all play a role. Those at high risk should be proactive with their health by exercising, eating healthy, not smoking, regularly seeing their doctor and monitoring their blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes and weight.
MEDIA CONTACT: Nancy Dumas, Beth Montalvo or Stacy Brand
PHONE: (248) 442-7986