July, 19, 2012
EMS agencies in 10 Georgia counties are now better equipped to save your life and reduce damage when you suffer a severe heart attack, thanks to donations of special refrigerators by the Northeast Georgia Regional STEMI Program. The donations were made to EMS in Banks, Dawson, Habersham, Hall, Jackson, Lumpkin, Rabun, Stephens, Towns and Union counties during the past month. The refrigerators – paid for by a grant from The Medical Center Foundation, the fundraising arm of Northeast Georgia Medical Center (NGMC) – cool saline used in patient IVs as part of induced hypothermia protocol.
“When a patient goes into cardiac arrest, blood stops flowing throughout the body, which means vital organs won’t receive oxygen” says Mohak Dave´, MD, medical director of Georgia Region II EMS and Chief of Emergency Medicine at NGMC. “The brain and heart muscles are especially susceptible to damage if they don’t receive oxygen within a few minutes.”
“Induced hypothermia protocol greatly decreases the likelihood of permanent brain and heart damage and increases chances of survival by lowering the patient’s body temperature using this cooled IV fluid,” says Jeffrey Marshall, MD, interventional cardiologist with Northeast Georgia Heart Center and medical director of Cardiac Cath Labs at NGMC.
The grant was made possible by proceeds from The Medical Center Foundation’s 2010 Medical Center Open, an annual golf tournament supporting community health improvement initiatives.
NGMC is part of the Northeast Georgia Regional STEMI Program – a collaborative effort between EMS and community hospitals in 15 counties and Northeast Georgia Medical Center to provide fast and efficient treatment to patients across the region suffering severe heart attacks known as STEMI (S-T Segment Elevation Myocardial Infarction).
“The reality is, these donations and collaborations are making a tremendous difference in the level of care provided in Georgia,” says Jason Grady, NR-Paramedic and regional STEMI coordinator at NGMC. “If you have a heart attack, the induced hypothermia protocol performed by paramedics or transmission of EKGs from the field may very well save your life.”