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ValleyCare and Alameda County Collaborate to Install Wireless Cardiac Monitors on Ambulances

Hospital news | Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Contact: Denise Bouillerce

Pleasanton, CA – ValleyCare has been working with Alameda County to purchase and install special modems on the ambulance cardiac monitors so that a patient's electrocardiographic (ECG) recordings can be wirelessly transmitted to the ValleyCare Emergency Department. This alerts both the emergency staff and Catheterization Lab Emergency Cardiac Team before the patient arrives at the hospital.

ValleyCare Medical Center has been an official Cardiac Receiving Center for Alameda County as part of the American Heart Association's Mission Lifeline Program for nearly four years. ValleyCare has a strong focus on the rapid triage and treatment of acute ST segment elevation myocardial infarction, (STEMI), a life-threatening type of heart attack, determined by an electrocardiogram.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010 was the first wireless ECG transmission on a patient experiencing STEMI. After arriving in the ValleyCare Emergency Department, the patient was transferred to the Cath Lab within 13 minutes. Door-to-balloon angioplasty time on this patient was 38 minutes, well below the national guideline of less than 90 minutes. Achieving record door to balloon times (the number of minutes from when a patient arrives in emergency until blood flow is restored) is due to consistent teamwork between all medical personnel involved. The sooner blood flow is established, the better the outcome for the patient.

Lifesaving measures began in the ambulance with the start of two IVs and aspirin. ValleyCare's Emergency Department physician and staff performed a rapid assessment and triage of the patient with immediate lab and diagnostic imaging. The Cath Lab team was waiting and rapidly established blood flow to the 100% blocked coronary artery with balloon angioplasty and stenting.

ValleyCare and Alameda County
The ability to activate the Emergency Cardiac Team based on wireless ECG transmission places ValleyCare Health System on the national forefront in the care of patients experiencing STEMI.

Since lifesaving measures are started in the ambulance, calling 911 is best course of action in the event of an emergency.

About ValleyCare:
ValleyCare Health System has provided not-for-profit health care to the Tri-Valley and surrounding communities since 1961. Through highly skilled physicians, nurses and staff, and state-of-the art technology, ValleyCare offers a wide range of health care services at its Livermore and Pleasanton medical facilities, ValleyCare in not publicly owned or operated, nor is it supported by taxes. ValleyCare reinvests any profits it makes into new services, equipment, and facilities. A 13-member Board of Directors, who is elected by its corporate members, governs the ValleyCare Corporation. Corporate members exercise certain reserve rights with respect to governance decisions.