Today, Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue announced its deployment of 46 Philips HeartStart MRx cardiac monitor/defibrillators to its paramedic fire engines, trucks, and medic units. TVF&R was one of the first adopters of Philips’ ALS monitor eight years ago and becomes the first fire department in the nation to use the device’s capability to wirelessly transmit EKG results from the field to the emergency room. The new monitors enable firefighter/paramedics to assess patients for life-threatening heart conditions, provide gender-specific diagnostic criteria to enhance interpretation of cardiac symptoms in women, and pinpoint culprit arteries that may be blocked.
This announcement took place on the same day that cardiac patient Bob Archer, a living testament to the effectiveness of wireless EKG transmission, reunited with the first responders, nurses, and medical staff who saved his life during a May 5 heart attack. Archer was walking his dog when he felt pain in his chest. The pain increased and his left arm started to go numb. According to doctors, what Archer did next contributed to his positive outcome. Instead of driving himself to the emergency room like 80% of Metro-area chest pain patients currently do, Archer decided to call 9-1-1.
Within minutes, firefighter/paramedics from Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue and paramedics from American Medical Response (AMR) arrived and began advanced medical care in Archer’s home. Archer was hooked up to a 12-lead EKG monitor, which allowed first responders to assess and begin treating his heart attack.
His treatment continued on the way to Legacy Meridian Park Medical Center in Tualatin, where the EKG readings from Archer’s heart were wirelessly transmitted by AMR to emergency room staff and a cardiologist’s iPhone. Utilizing wireless EKG transmission technology called LifeNet, which was implemented by Legacy Health in November, doctors developed a treatment plan and readied the hospital’s catheterization lab for Archer’s arrival. The new cardiac monitors give TVF&R this same capability.
“When I arrived at the emergency room, they were ready to go to work,” recalls Archer. “The doctors explained the procedure they would perform to insert a stent into my artery and the next thing I knew I was in recovery. The total time from my arrival at the emergency room to the completion of my procedure was just 51 minutes - incredible.”
Following his full recovery, Archer explains that the advantages to calling 9-1-1 versus driving yourself to the hospital are many and he urges others who experience heart attack symptoms such as chest pain to call 9-1-1.
Visit our Safety & Education Webpages (Health & Wellness) to learn more about heart attack symptoms.