Woodland Heights donates EKGs to EMS

LUFKIN TX, (Press release) – On Thursday, May 20, 2010, Woodland Heights Medical Center presented Lufkin EMS with a donation of four 12-Lead EKG machines.  This donation will enable Lufkin EMS to implement a pre-hospital EKG program, which will allow for the diagnosis and more timely treatment of severe cardiac issues in the field as well as facilitate faster treatment once the patient arrives at the hospital emergency room.

"Woodland Heights is happy to make this contribution to the health and wellness of our community," said Casey Robertson, CEO of Woodland Heights Medical Center.  "We are already the area's leader in treating AMI [heart attack] according to the latest data released by CMS.  The addition of a pre-hospital 12-Lead EKG will allow both EMS and Woodland Heights to provide even better quality and faster care for residents who are experiencing a heart attack."

Severe cardiac issues, such as acute myocardial ischemia (AMI), are the leading cause of sudden cardiac death in the United States.  Experts believe that a pre-hospital EKG may facilitate early identification and faster treatment of patients with chest pain and possible AMI.  Traditionally, 12-lead EKG has been used in the hospital setting to help physicians identify, diagnose and treat patient with cardiac disorders.  Now, advancements in technology make obtaining and transmitting EKGs by paramedics both feasible and beneficial.  In fact, pre-hospital EKG and transmission is recommended by the American Heart Association.

"This donation will save lives," said Danny Kistner, Lufkin Fire Chief.  "During a heart attack, time is tissue.  The new EKG machines will allow Lufkin EMS to wirelessly transmit vital diagnostic data directly to the emergency room, cardiologist and cath lab, which will help to reduce the diagnosis to treatment time for the patient."

The cost of the EKG equipment will be $120,000.  In addition, Woodland Heights will purchase equipment for receiving the data transmissions from the Lufkin ambulances.

"Pre-hospital EKG with transmission has already been established as the standard of care in more urban markets," continued Kistner.  "This system will allow Lufkin EMS to deliver the same high-quality and life-saving care to our residents as in Dallas and Houston.  We are grateful to Woodland Heights for this donation, which will benefit the entire community."