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Tuesday, July 28, 2020 San Juan Regional Medical Center’s Emergency Medical Services Receives American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline EMS Gold Plus Recognition Award

San Juan Regional Medical Center’s EMS Department is proud to announce it has once again received the American Heart Association® Mission: Lifeline® EMS Gold Plus Award. The Gold Plus Award is the highest recognition awarded by the American Heart Association, given to EMS Departments for implementing quality improvement measures for the treatment of patients who experience severe heart attacks. San Juan Regional Medical Center was the only recipient in the Four Corners, as well as the only one in the entire state of New Mexico.  

Every year, more than 250,000 people experience an ST elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI), the deadliest type of heart attack caused by a blockage of blood flow to the heart that requires timely treatment. To prevent death, it’s critical to restore blood flow as quickly as possible, either by mechanically opening the blocked vessel or by providing clot-busting medication. 

The Mission: Lifeline initiative provides tools, training and other resources to support heart attack care following protocols from the most recent evidence-based treatment guidelines. Mission: Lifeline’s EMS recognition program recognizes emergency medical services for their efforts in improving systems of care to rapidly identify suspected heart attack patients, promptly notify the medical center and trigger an early response from the awaiting hospital personnel.  

“We are honored to be recognized for our dedication to providing quality emergency medical care to our patients,” said Jeff Bourgeois, President and CEO of San Juan Regional Medical Center. “As a community owned and operated hospital, San Juan Regional Medical Center is committed to providing optimal care for heart attack patients, from their very first point of contact with our EMS personnel to our Emergency Department and beyond.” 

“EMTs and paramedics play a vital part in the system of care for those who have heart attacks,” said Tim Henry, M.D., Chair of the Mission: Lifeline Acute Coronary Syndrome Subcommittee. “Since they often are the first medical point of contact, they can save precious minutes of treatment time by activating the emergency response system that alerts hospitals to an incoming heart attack patient. We applaud San Juan Regional Medical Center for achieving this award in following evidence-based guidelines in the treatment of people who have severe heart attacks.”

Those guidelines include delivering education in STEMI identification; providing access to 12-lead ECGs, which measure the electrical activity of the heart and can help determine if a heart attack has occurred; and developing protocols based on American Heart Association guidelines. Following these protocols greatly improves the quality of care and quality of life for patients.

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