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Media Contact: Lance Skelly
  lance.skelly@emory.edu
  (404) 686-8538 ((40) 4) -686-8538
11 April 2007
Fulton County Hospitals and AHA Join Forces to Beat Heart Attack Deaths
Although no one wants to have a heart attack, Atlanta could become the best place to have one thanks to the new Atlanta TIME (Timely Intervention for Myocardial Emergencies) project. This one-of-a-kind initiative makes it possible for Emergency Medical Services (EMS) to transmit life-saving data to local Atlanta hospitals in order to shorten the time to treatment and increase a heart attack victim's chance of survival.

The cooperative project is sponsored by five hospitals: Atlanta Medical Center, Emory Crawford Long Hospital, Emory University Hospital, Piedmont Hospital and Saint Joseph's Hospital, as well as the American Heart Association. All four EMS systems operating in Fulton County (Grady EMS, Rural Metro EMS, Hapeville Fire Department and Atlanta Fire Department ECHO Units at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport) also are participating in the program.

"The Atlanta TIME Project is the first cooperative urban program in the United States developed to provide the most rapid response to a cardiac emergency by improving every step of care from the onset of symptoms to treatment at the hospital," says Bryan McNally, MD, emergency medicine physician at Emory University Hospital and co-director of the TIME program. "The time from the onset of the heart attack to the opening of the artery is critical in reducing heart damage and improving survival."

Spencer King, MD, chair of interventional cardiology at the Fuqua Heart Center of Atlanta at Piedmont Hospital and co-director of the program, says "Although all hospitals work on shortening the time of arrival to opening the artery, the TIME program concentrates on shortening the time from the onset of symptoms to stopping the attack with angioplasty." Full 12-lead electrocardiographic (EKG) units have been placed in all of the ambulances that respond to 9-1-1 calls in Fulton County. All of these units have the capability to transmit the EKG immediately to one of the five hospitals that have been equipped with receiving units. The emergency physician at the hospital reads the EKG and activates the emergency catheterization team. Since the diagnosis can be made before the patient arrives, delays of registration and testing at the hospital can be avoided. Protocols have been established in each of the hospitals to streamline the movement of the patient directly to the catheterization laboratory for urgent angioplasty.

"This demonstrates historic cooperation between competing cardiac hospitals for the benefit of critically-ill patients with rapid, life-saving care," says William Knapp, MD, medical director, Cath Lab, Saint Joseph's Hospital.

A critical component of the program is a full-time Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) - Paramedic educator who works directly with EMTs to ensure appropriate responses to cardiac emergencies. Data is being collected to assess delays in treatment and their causes in order for quality improvement measures to be implemented.

"We know that the greatest loss of time from the onset of a heart attack to treatment occurs prior to arriving at the hospital," says Paul Douglass, MD, director of cardiovascular services and chief of the cardiology division at Atlanta Medical Center. "Therefore, it is imperative that the public recognize the signs of a heart attack and call 9-1-1 immediately. Thanks to this unique cooperative program, a heart attack victim in Fulton County should have the best chance of survival and recovery available anywhere."

AT&T, Nokia Corporation, Medtronic Physio-Control Corporation and Rural Metro Emergency Medical Service have provided in-kind support for the Atlanta TIME project.

###

TIME: Created in November 2006, the TIME (Timely Intervention for Myocardial Emergencies) project is one of the first urban, multi-hospital collaboration in the United States developed to provide rapid respons e to cardiac emergencies. It is a joint effort between five metro Atlanta hospitals: Atlanta Medical Center, Emory Crawford Long Hospital, Emory University Hospital, Piedmont Hospital and Saint Joseph's Hospital, in conjunction with the American Heart Association and the four EMS systems operating in Fulton County, Georgia (Grady EMS, Rural Metro EMS, Hapeville Fire Department and Atlanta Fire Department ECHO Units at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport). TIME works to decrease the time between the onset of cardiac symptoms and hospital treatment by transmitting full 12-lead EKG information from the transporting ambulance to one of the five hospitals, triggering activation of the hospital's emergency catheterization team and rapid intervention upon patient arrival.

Media Contact: Lance Skelly
  lskelly@emory.edu
  (404) 686-8538
11 April 2007
Fulton County Hospitals and AHA Join Forces to Beat Heart Attack Deaths
Although no one wants to have a heart attack, Atlanta could become the best place to have one thanks to the new Atlanta TIME (Timely Intervention for Myocardial Emergencies) project. This one-of-a-kind initiative makes it possible for Emergency Medical Services (EMS) to transmit life-saving data to local Atlanta hospitals in order to shorten the time to treatment and increase a heart attack victim's chance of survival.

The cooperative project is sponsored by five hospitals: Atlanta Medical Center, Emory Crawford Long Hospital, Emory University Hospital, Piedmont Hospital and Saint Joseph's Hospital, as well as the American Heart Association. All four EMS systems operating in Fulton County (Grady EMS, Rural Metro EMS, Hapeville Fire Department and Atlanta Fire Department ECHO Units at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport) also are participating in the program.

"The Atlanta TIME Project is the first cooperative urban program in the United States developed to provide the most rapid response to a cardiac emergency by improving every step of care from the onset of symptoms to treatment at the hospital," says Bryan McNally, MD, emergency medicine physician at Emory University Hospital and co-director of the TIME program. "The time from the onset of the heart attack to the opening of the artery is critical in reducing heart damage and improving survival."

Spencer King, MD, chair of interventional cardiology at the Fuqua Heart Center of Atlanta at Piedmont Hospital and co-director of the program, says "Although all hospitals work on shortening the time of arrival to opening the artery, the TIME program concentrates on shortening the time from the onset of symptoms to stopping the attack with angioplasty." Full 12-lead electrocardiographic (EKG) units have been placed in all of the ambulances that respond to 9-1-1 calls in Fulton County. All of these units have the capability to transmit the EKG immediately to one of the five hospitals that have been equipped with receiving units. The emergency physician at the hospital reads the EKG and activates the emergency catheterization team. Since the diagnosis can be made before the patient arrives, delays of registration and testing at the hospital can be avoided. Protocols have been established in each of the hospitals to streamline the movement of the patient directly to the catheterization laboratory for urgent angioplasty.

"This demonstrates historic cooperation between competing cardiac hospitals for the benefit of critically-ill patients with rapid, life-saving care," says William Knapp, MD, medical director, Cath Lab, Saint Joseph's Hospital.

A critical component of the program is a full-time Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) - Paramedic educator who works directly with EMTs to ensure appropriate responses to cardiac emergencies. Data is being collected to assess delays in treatment and their causes in order for quality improvement measures to be implemented.

"We know that the greatest loss of time from the onset of a heart attack to treatment occurs prior to arriving at the hospital," says Paul Douglass, MD, director of cardiovascular services and chief of the cardiology division at Atlanta Medical Center. "Therefore, it is imperative that the public recognize the signs of a heart attack and call 9-1-1 immediately. Thanks to this unique cooperative program, a heart attack victim in Fulton County should have the best chance of survival and recovery available anywhere."

AT&T, Nokia Corporation, Medtronic Physio-Control Corporation and Rural Metro Emergency Medical Service have provided in-kind support for the Atlanta TIME project.

###

TIME: Created in November 2006, the TIME (Timely Intervention for Myocardial Emergencies) project is one of the first urban, multi-hospital collaboration in the United States developed to provide rapid respons e to cardiac emergencies. It is a joint effort between five metro Atlanta hospitals: Atlanta Medical Center, Emory Crawford Long Hospital, Emory University Hospital, Piedmont Hospital and Saint Joseph's Hospital, in conjunction with the American Heart Association and the four EMS systems operating in Fulton County, Georgia (Grady EMS, Rural Metro EMS, Hapeville Fire Department and Atlanta Fire Department ECHO Units at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport). TIME works to decrease the time between the onset of cardiac symptoms and hospital treatment by transmitting full 12-lead EKG information from the transporting ambulance to one of the five hospitals, triggering activation of the hospital's emergency catheterization team and rapid intervention upon patient arrival.

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