GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - When someone suffers a heart attack, every passing second becomes a fight for survival. The sooner they can be treated, the better.
"Muscle is time. If you look at someone having an acute myocardial infarction [heart attack], it goes back to muscle is time. The sooner you get them to the cath lab, the sooner you activate the cath lab, the patient's muscle can be saved in the heart," said AMR Clinical Educational Specialist Charles Wise.
That's why American Medical Response is advancing its cardiac care with new equipment. The ambulances are now equipped with Life Pack 15's. This equipment not only monitors the heart and vitals, but it transmits that information to the hospital while the Ambulance is en route. That means physicians can prepare and respond sooner.
"This is significant. These aren't just tiny little changes in emergency care. These are very significant changes," AMR Regional Manager Butch Oberhoof said. "That monitors ability to catch the tiniest little patient's rhythm and tiniest deterioration in the heart muscle and notify the paramedics, and it can also be transmitted to the cath lab too is extremely important to the patient's survival."
New C-P-R guidelines from the Heart Association call for faster and harder compressions. This had led to another new machine that administers compressions automatically.
"It frees them up in the back of the truck to administer life saving, cardiac drugs and treatments that may need to be taken care of in the back of the truck," Wise said.
The AMR is the first in the southern region to have this equipment.
"The whole premise of the Emergency Medical Services was to bring the emergency care to the patient, so as transit improves and patient's chances for surviving improve, we need to be apart of that," said Oberhoff.
The AMR Ambulances also have the ability to use hypothermia care which lowers the body temperature with cool IV fluids.
With certain injuries, hypothermia care can increase survival by 40 percent. One Life Pack costs more than $30,000