Field EKG

By: Terri Rusell
By: Terri Rusell

An alarm at all nurses stations in the emergency room at Carson Tahoe Hospital alerts the emergency room nurse at Carson Tahoe Hospital, a heart attack patient is in route.

In just a couple of moments, that patient's heart activity as registered by a portable electrocardiogram or EKG right on the same screen.
It allows that nurse and others to start preparing the hospital, *before* the heart attack patient arrives.

Jacob Ricks is a registered nurse who works in the emergency room at the hospital.

"We call the cath lab we call the cardiologist at the same time and the way its worked do far, they've actually met us here before the patient is here. The patient is also registered before he arrives on campus."

The messages are coming from the back of an ambulance from Storey, Central Lyon, Douglas or Carson Fire district.
The patient is hooked up, and the paramedic is sending the information to the emergency room.
Through their training they'll know what medication to push if any.

Capt. Brett Larkin is a paramedic with the /Central Lyon Co. Fire District:

"Yea, they definitely have a better chance of having less cardiac damage from that event since we can recognize it and they can get the cath lab ready. Since time is muscle the faster its corrected the less damage it will create over time."

For rural heart attack patients it means getting out of the ambulance, into an emergency room and within minutes to a cath lab to unclog a blocked artery.

All within the golden 90-minute time frame set down by the American Heart Association.


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