American Heart Association recognizes Castle Rock Fire and Rescue response

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July 25, 2017
When every moment matters, you can count on Castle Rock Fire and Rescue and Castle Rock Adventist Hospital, which were recently recognized by the American Heart Association.

The Castle Rock Fire and Rescue Department this month received the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline 2017 EMS Silver Recognition Award, which honors Emergency Medical Services (EMS) agencies for the care they provide for patients who experience severe heart attacks.

Every year, more than 250,000 people experience an ST elevation myocardial infarction – the deadliest type of heart attack. It’s caused by a blockage of blood flow to the heart, and timely treatment is vital. To prevent death, it’s critical to restore blood flow as quickly as possible, either by mechanically opening the blocked vessel or by providing clot-busting medication.

Mission: Lifeline seeks to save lives by closing the gaps that separate these patients from timely access to treatment. Mission:Lifeline’s EMS recognition program recognizes emergency medical services for their efforts in improving systems of care and improving the quality of life for these patients.

EMS agencies, such as Castle Rock Fire and Rescue, perform 12-lead ECGs, which measure the electrical activity of the heart and can help determine if a heart attack has occurred. They also follow protocols derived from American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology guidelines. These correct tools, training, and practices allow EMS providers to rapidly identify suspected heart attack patients, promptly notify the medical center – in this case Castle Rock Adventist Hospital – and trigger an early response from the awaiting hospital personnel.

Agencies earn this award for achieving 75 percent or higher adherence for 12 months on all Mission: Lifeline EMS quality measures.

“Our vision is to be the best at providing emergency and prevention services, because we care about our community and the patients we serve,” said Castle Rock Fire Chief Art Morales. “The American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline program helps us reach that vision by implementing processes for improving our systems of care. It’s truly an honor to be recognized.”

Castle Rock Fire and Rescue partners with Castle Rock Adventist Hospital to continually improve care for patients with severe heart attacks. This collaboration allows for sharing of data on every severe heart attack patient transported to the hospital along with the opportunity to review each case to determine if evidence-based guidelines, like those from the American Heart Association, were followed, and – most importantly – if prehospital care can be improved.