What's Working: CFD improves treatment to heart attack patients

The Cincinnati Health Department is partnering with Good Samaritan Hospital to improve the quality of care for heart attack patients.

Good Samaritan is investing thousands of dollars into Cincinnati Fire and EMS responders to use the newest Life Pack 15, a high tech heart monitor that connects a patient in the field directly to a cardiologist in the emergency room.

The Life Pack 15 can read what a heart is doing and even treat if necessary.

"The current machines, they can look at rhythms, they can shock, they can pace," said Dr. Dogan Temizer, Cardiac Lab Medical Director at Good Sam.

They can also send an electrocardiogram directly to the hospital.

By linking this modem, all the information from the machine is in the hands of a doctor within minutes.

"This takes 30 minutes off the time of the whole process and when you're talking about a 90 minute game, taking 30 minutes away, makes a huge difference," said Temizer.

It's a huge difference that puts Cincinnati right at the front of the nation for EMS technology and equipment.

Each unit with a modem costs around $30,000 - a price tag not within the fire department's budget.

"There is only so much the fire department can do with the limited funds we have available to us," said Cincinnati Fire Chief Richard Braun. "By providing us with this tool, it helps the doctors out."

And helping the doctors out directly impacts the quality of care for every patient and their family.

"The bottom line is if we get our hands on a patient an hour sooner we have a less sick patient that is likely going to have less of a heart muscle injury," said Temizer.

The fire department started using this equipment in April and have seen immediate improvement in sending information and providing better care to patients.

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