West Jefferson's EMS Receives American Heart Association's Mission: Lifeline EMS Recognition Award

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Treatment for STEMI heart attacks is crucial for the overall quality care provided by hospitals in New Orleans. As a leader in this field, West Jefferson Medical Center has been awarded American Heart Association's Mission: Lifeline EMS Recognition Award.

Image of West Jefferson Medical Center - New Orleans Hospital

Image of West Jefferson Medical Center

We are pleased to be recognized for our dedication and achievements in emergency medical care for STEMI patients.

West Jefferson Medical Center’s Emergency Medical Service (EMS) is the only recipient of the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline® EMS Silver Award out of all hospitals in New Orleans. The honor recognizes the West Jefferson’s commitment and success in implementing specific quality improvement measures for the treatment of patients who suffer a severe heart attack known as a STEMI (ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction).

Every year, almost 300,000 people experience a STEMI, a type of heart attack caused by a complete blockage of blood flow to the heart that requires timely treatment. To prevent death, it’s critical to restore blood flow as quickly as possible, either by surgically opening the blocked vessel or by giving clot-busting medication.

Unfortunately, a significant number don't receive prompt reperfusion therapy (a type of treatment wherein blood is immediately reintroduced to the heart after the patient has suffered from myocardial infarction, or heart attack. This supplies the heart with oxygen and further damage to the muscle is prevented), which is critical in restoring blood flow. Mission: Lifeline seeks to save lives by closing the gaps that separate STEMI patients from timely access to appropriate treatments. Mission: Lifeline’s new EMS recognition program recognizes those emergency responders for their efforts in improving STEMI systems of care and improving the quality of life for these patients. For hospitals in New Orleans, this is a critical step towards proper care for heart attack patients.

Emergency Medical System providers are vital to the success of Mission: Lifeline. EMS agencies provide education in STEMI identification and access to 12-lead ECG machines and follow protocols derived from American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology guidelines. The correct tools and training allow EMS providers to rapidly identify the STEMI, promptly notify the medical center and trigger an early response from the awaiting hospital personnel.

Agencies that receive the Mission: Lifeline Silver award have demonstrated at least 75 percent compliance for each required achievement measure for the entire year, and treat at least eight STEMI patients for the year. Among hospitals in New Orleans, West Jefferson Medical Center has become a leader in this treatment.

“We commend West Jefferson Medical Center for this achievement award, which reflects a significant commitment to improve the quality of care for heart attack patients,” said A. Gray Ellrodt, MD, Chair of the Mission: Lifeline committee and Chief of Medicine at the Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield, Mass. “All too many heart attack patients in the United States still fail to receive appropriate treatment for their life-threatening condition within the recommended timeframes. We must all continue this important work to streamline and coordinate regional systems of care to save lives and prevent complications.”

“West Jefferson is dedicated to making our unit among the best in the country, and the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline program is helping us accomplish that by implementing processes for improving STEMI systems of care with the goal of improving the quality of care for all STEMI patients,” said Nancy R. Cassagne, CEO of West Jefferson Medical Center. “We are pleased to be recognized for our dedication and achievements in emergency medical care for STEMI patients.”

For more information about New Orleans hospital West Jefferson Medical Center, visit their website at wjmc.org. You can also contact the hospital at 504-347-5511 or visit at 1101 Medical Center BLVD, Marrero, LA 70072.

About West Jefferson Medical Center

Founded in 1956, West Jefferson Medical Center (WJMC) is a community hospital located in Marrero, LA, just 10 minutes from downtown New Orleans. As a full service medical center, WJMC offers comprehensive programs for preventive, emergency, acute and rehabilitative care with a medical staff of more than 400 physicians and a complement of 1900 employees and many volunteers. WJMC serves a community of more than 180,000 people. Located near vast industrial quarters, the medical center also serves business and industry across the Gulf South. Clinical excellence divisions include: neurosciences, cardiovascular services, and an academic community cancer center. To meet the community needs, West Jefferson Medical Center Physician Services includes both primary care and specialty clinics located across the West Bank of Jefferson Parish. The medical center enjoys awards for clinical excellence across many of its subspecialties.

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Taslin Alfonzo
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