NEBRASKA – Decision-making with Patients in Mind ($4.1 million grant)

The Crofton Rescue Service had their Mission: Lifeline 12-lead electrocardiogram (also known as an ECG, and a process where electrodes are placed on the patient’s chest to assess the conduction of the heart’s electrical conduction system) for less than six months when they used it to save the life of a 60-year-old man who was having chest pains. On that day around noon, they received a call about a possible AMI (Acute Myocardial Infarction).

The first responders connected the ECG, which showed a possible ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) – a kind of heart attack caused by a blocked blood supply, and which demands an emergent response. The ECG was transmitted to Avera Sacred Heart Hospital in nearby Yankton. Within 10 minutes of his arrival at the hospital in Yankton, the patient was transported to Sioux Falls, the nearest Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI) center, where coronary catheterization was performed, and stents placed to restore blood flow. By 3:00 p.m. the patient was out of the cath lab and heading for a full recovery.

Katie Tramp, on staff with the Crofton Rescue Service, was on call that day. “It was just amazing to us how it all came together,” said Katie. “We needed to return some personal items to the patient and so we called Avera Heart Hospital in Sioux Falls to determine the best way to make that happen. They told us he had already received his stents and was up and about. I was pretty amazed by the whole thing. The Avera nurse I spoke with was very sweet to listen to my amazement about how we had just received the 12-lead not that long ago and how the transmission worked and how that helicopter was landing even before we had all of our paperwork done. We have now become more comfortable with the machine and are using it regularly. It’s a wonderful asset to our squad and community.”