Mountain View, CA - July 26, 2010 - El Camino Hospital has become the first hospital in Santa Clara County to utilize Medtronic's Lifenet System, shaving precious minutes off the time it takes for heart attack victims to receive lifesaving treatment.
Used in conjunction with local emergency personnel, Lifenet wirelessly transmits a patient's electrocardiogram (ECG) information from the ambulance back to El Camino Hospital's Emergency Department, allowing a doctor to assess the patient in real time. From there the information can be retransmitted to a cardiologist's email or smart phone, letting the doctor rapidly interpret the results and take action immediately.
If a patient is diagnosed as suffering from the type of heart attack known as "ST elevation myocardial infarction" (STEMI), then preparations can be made at the catheterization lab before the patient even arrives. As a result, El Camino Hospital's "door-to-balloon" (D2B) time--the time it takes to get a patient from the emergency room to the interventional lab for treatment--can be reduced by several minutes.
"Lifenet can let us know as quickly as possible when a patient needs blood flow restored to the heart muscle," explained Dr. Chad Rammohan, interventional cardiologist and medical director of El Camino Hospital's Chest Pain Center. "When it comes to heart attacks, the time it takes to restore blood flow is directly related to how patients do."
The American Heart Association estimates that nearly 400,000 people suffer from a STEMI heart attack in the U.S. each year, and recommends that D2B times for treating them be no greater than 90 minutes.
The new technology underscores El Camino Hospital's commitment to maintaining its status as a world-class cardiac center, one of only three certified Chest Pain Centers in Santa Clara County. It also demonstrates the willingness of the Mountain View Fire Department and American Medical Response to embrace new technology in the interest of serving the community. The devices have been installed on MVFD and AMR vehicles, and emergency responders have been trained to use them in the instance of chest pain.
"No one plans on having a heart attack, but through this partnership between El Camino Hospital and the Mountain View Fire Department, the residents of Mountain View can know they're getting the best treatment possible as quickly as possible," said MVFD Battalion Chief John Owen.