Merrill EMS: a link in the chain for saving lives

Merrill Fire & EMS announces they were recently presented with the prestigious “Rescue 1 Outstanding Achievement Award” from Ministry Health Care, specifically St. Clares Hospital in Weston. Dan Gavrila, M.D., Rescue One Medical Director and Marshfield Interventional Clinical Cardiologist, along with Nicholas Wyskoarko, M.D., and Marshfield Interventional Clinical Cardiologist presented the award to the on-duty crew of Merrill personnel along with Chief Savone, informally at the Merrill Fire station on Thursday, Feb. 20.
The Rescue 1 award is in recognition of Lincoln County EMS Transport Teams from Merrill Fire for their commitment in implementing “a higher standard of care for heart attack patients” resulting in improved outcomes for the cardiac patients that are served.
The Merrill area is fortunate to have quality health care right in town with Good Samaritan Health Center, however medical emergencies arise that require specialized care, in which the need arises for the patient to be transported quickly by helicopter or ground ambulance to the specializing facility in order to receive the specialized services that may be available, in this case STEMI (heart attack) patients. Data shows that the transfer crews from Merrill were able to depart Good Samaritan Health Center and have the patient to the cath lab at St. Clares in 25-28 minutes, the national goal is to be able to transfer the patient for definitive care in under 30 minutes.
According to RN, Janet Abel, Director of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Services, Marshfield Clinic and Ministry Health Care, “the transfer team is a huge part in the outcome of the patient who is having a heart attack, because ‘time is muscle’ and all parts of the system play an important role in the successful outcome of the patient.” The American College of Cardiologist and the American Heart Association research show that it is vital for the patient who is having a heart attack needs to have blood flow resumed to the heart in less than 90 minutes or the outcome may not be positive for that patient. Patients who are experiencing chest pain or other symptoms of a heart attack need to call EMS for care quickly to help in meeting or decreasing the time needed for care.
In Merrill we are accomplishing that standard as the average time that it takes for the patient who comes into the GSHC emergency room to the time that the patient has blood flow resumed to the heart in the cath lab at St. Clares Weston has been about 76 minutes well under the 90 minute guideline, thus patient outcomes are significantly improved.
With the continued effort by the paramedics in Merrill and the hospitals including Good Samaritan Health Center in Merrill and St. Clares, Weston, all cardiac patients in the Merrill area have to be encouraged. At the time when they may be facing a life changing condition, they can rest assured that the transfer team from the Merrill Fire Department will do all they can to get the patient to the cath lab for the specialized cardiac care that will make a difference for them and their family.

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