Lexington County EMS strives to provide state of the art prehospital cardiac care. Only a few short years ago, most prehospital cardiac care consisted primarily of a 3-lead ECG tracing, minimal pharmacological intervention and a "load and go" mentality. Today, the equipment and technology being utilized provides hospital providers with highly advanced diagnostic equipment, nearly identical to what is used in the emergency room, enabling them to deliver vastly improved cardiac care before the patient ever arrives at the hospital.
Lexington County utilizes the Philips MRx cardiac monitor/defibrillator. The advanced features of this device allow our paramedics to not only diagnose cardiac conditions with a high degree of accuracy but also to transmit a 12-lead ECG tracing directly to the emergency room. The attending physician at the hospital is then able to view the tracing and immediately collaborate with the paramedic via radio to determine the best course of care for the patient, including direct transport to the cath lab if needed. Utilizing this advanced technology saves time and saves lives.
Here's how it works:
The paramedic suspects a cardiac event is taking place and attaches the patient to the cardiac monitor and obtains a 12-lead ECG tracing as soon after reaching the patient's side as possible.
He then selects a "send to" option from a simple, intuitive display on the cardiac monitor and the tracing is automatically sent to the hospital of choice via Bluetooth technology, printing out in the emergency room moments later.
The paramedic then notifies the hosptial via radio and advises the staff of the patient's condition and that he has transmitted a "12-Lead", along with his interpretation of the tracing.
If warranted, after reviewing the tracing, the physician can direct the paramedic to either bring the patient to the emergency room or proceed directly to the cath lab for emergency PCI.
All of these critical steps take place before the patient ever arrives at the hospital.