First patient benefited by new EKGs in Lufkin ambulances

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - By Morgan Thomas - bio | email

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) – Two Lufkin hospitals donated a total of 8 upgraded EKG machines for use in city ambulances about a month ago. One Lufkin woman is having a quicker recovery after a major heart attack, thanks to the life-saving machines.

Ann Torres was on the job at a Lufkin trucking company when she started to feel the signs of something really bad.

"My chest started hurting and then I just broke into a sweat... I just knew it was something I hadn't felt before," said Torres. She called 9-1-1.  "They were there in just a little bit. They put me in the ambulance," said Torres.

EMT'S immediately hooked Torres up to their new EKG machine, now inside all Lufkin ambulances.

"We can look at the heart with a lot more detail," said Paramedic Kevin Pebsworth.

As Torres was rushed to the hospital, her EKG information was transmitted wirelessly to the emergency room. Pebsworth says this gives the cardiology team precious time to prepare.

"Speeding up the flow of treatment," said Pebsworth.

Mrs. Torres' cardiologist called her major type of heart attack a 'widow-maker'. And it was the device that gave E.M.T.s a more detailed picture of what was going on inside her heart.

When Torres got to the hospital, her cardiologist was ready to take action. She was prepped for the catheter lab, and a stint implanted... all in less than an hour.

"Major, major heart attack. She's fortunate to have it done quickly. Have a stint put in. Now she can concentrate on the lifestyle changes," said Chief of Cardiology Ravinder Bachireddy.

"Well, doctor said diet and exercise. Hahaha," said Torres.

She laughs now, but less than 24 hours ago, her life was in jeopardy.

"Because they got to me so quickly I don't think it did as much damage to the heart which is a very good thing," said Torres.

The doctor agrees... The upgraded ambulance EKG's saves lives.

"It cut costs, it shortens the stay, decreases the damage to muscle, she can go back to work quickly," said Bacciredy.

Surrounded by her family, and out of the ICU, Ann Torres is happy to see another day...

"There's no words to describe how thankful you can be," said Torres.

The quicker heart attack patients can be stinted  the better. The longer it takes, more damage is done to the heart's muscles.

This creates longer recovery time, and even death.

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