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MEDIA RELEASE

CONTACT:
Cindy Ficorelli
Phone: (810) 606-6270
Fax: (810) 606-6279
caficorelli@genesys.org

11/07/2005

Genesys works with EMS providers to improve heart attack response times

(Genesee County, MI) Patients suffering a heart attack have a much greater chance of survival, and without heart muscle damage, now that Genesys and local EMS providers are equipped with new technology that allows ambulances to transmit a patient's critical heart condition information within seconds to the hospital Emergency department.
The technology is a 12-lead electrocardiogram (EKG) system (equipped in the ambulance) that is connected to a receiving station in the Genesys Emergency department. Paramedics and emergency response teams can conduct a 12-lead EKG at the location of the victim and transmit heart activity to the hospital within seconds. Physicians can monitor changes in the heart while the victim is enroute to Genesys, make a diagnosis, and activate the cardiac catheterization lab team before the patient arrives.

"With this new system in place, Genesys can start the heart attack patient's treatment process before the patient arrives at the the hospital," reports Michael Jule, DO, medical director of Emergency Services at Genesys.

"Our goal is to shorten the time from a person's cardiac symptoms to treatment. Getting the right information to the right person within seconds will save lives," he adds.

"Time is tissue. After a heart attack, the clock begins. Minutes dictate the patient's outcome," Dr. Jule finds. "The longer a patient goes without treatment, the more likely irreversible heart muscle damage will occur. Rapid response time is critical."

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that each year more than 400,000 people die of heart disease in an emergency department or before reaching a hospital. This figure accounts for more than 60 percent of all cardiac deaths.

Genesys is the first hospital in the region equipped with a receiving system. The goal is to equip all ambulances in Genesee County with the 12-lead defibrillator/monitor system. Currently, only 21 of the 48 ambulances in the county have 12-lead EKG capabilities. Genesys, through the Genesys Health Foundation, has requested grant funding to purchase 12-lead systems for 27 ambulances in Genesee County to "assure the community that every ambulance can provide this new life-saving technology," Dr. Jule explains.

This new 12-lead technology is one more giant step the Genesys Heart Institute has undertaken to provide the best heart care possible to its consumers.

Another recent step was earning accreditation from the Society of Chest Pain Centers. Genesys now is one of only four hospitals in Michigan (and one of only 162 in the nation) to receive the designation of Accredited Chest Pain Center. Heart attack patients have a 37 percent greater chance of survival if they are taken to a medical facility with an accredited Chest Pain Center.

Opening the Paul J. "Rocky" Roll Cardiac Rapid Diagnostic Center in the Spring of 2006 is "one more step the Genesys Heart Institute has initiated to take heart care for this community to the next level of excellence," Dr. Jule adds.

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