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

Hospital news | Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Contact: Denise Bouillerce

Pleasanton, CA – ValleyCare Health System and Alameda County Emergency Medical Services (EMS) have collaborated to install cardiac monitors on all ambulances in the county. These monitors wirelessly transmit a patient's electrocardiographic (ECG) tracings to an Emergency Medicine physician at ValleyCare Medical Center, alerting both the Emergency Room staff and the Emergency Cardiac Catheterization Lab Team before the patient arrives at the hospital. 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 acute heart attack.

Designated Cardiac Receiving Center
ValleyCare Medical Center has been a California Department of Public Health designated Cardiac Receiving Center for Alameda County as part of the American Heart Association's Mission Lifeline Program for over 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, which is determined by an electrocardiogram.

Record "Door to Wire" Times
Lifesaving measures begin in the ambulance with the start of two IVs and aspirin. Once a patient arrives in the ER, ValleyCare's Emergency Department physician and staff are able to perform a rapid assessment with immediate lab and diagnostic imaging. With the Cath Lab team ready and waiting, re-establishing blood flow to the blocked coronary artery with balloon angioplasty and stenting on ValleyCare patients averages 60 minutes or less (well below the national guideline of 90 minutes). Achieving record "door to reperfusion times" (the number of minutes from when a patient arrives in emergency until blood flow is restored) is due to consistent teamwork and communication between ValleyCare, Alameda County EMS and all medical personnel involved. The sooner blood flow is established, the less damage to heart muscle resulting in a better outcome for the patient.