ELIZABETH, NJ – Trinitas Regional Medical Center’s Mobile Intensive Care Unit and the Elizabeth Fire Department were recently honored by the American Heart and Stroke Association with the 2016 Mission: Lifeline EMS Recognition Gold Award. It was presented in recognition of speed and coordination in transporting chest pain patients to the hospital for emergency cardiac treatment.

The goal of Mission: Lifeline is to save more lives by connecting first responders with hospitals and other health care providers and creating a seamless transition of resources from the patient’s location to the hospital. 

“We are very pleased that the American Heart and Stroke Association recognized our two organizations in this manner, but we’re even more satisfied that our collaboration is actually saving lives,” said Gerard Muench, director of Pre-Hospital Services at Trinitas.

Sign Up for E-News

In the past, ‘door-to-needle’ time was used as an indicator, according to Muench, meaning the time between a cardiac patient’s arrival in the ER and the start of life-saving treatment in the cardiac catheterization lab.  “Now, the clock starts when emergency services personnel first arrive at the scene of a patient having chest pain.  Those first moments of treatment in the field are crucial to a patient’s overall outcome by reducing the damage to the heart caused by a blocked coronary artery,” he adds.  

A portable EKG machine can transmit the patient’s EKG directly to the emergency department before the arrival of the patient. The Elizabeth Fire Department EMTs, Trinitas paramedics, and the Emergency Department nurses work together and deliver the patient to the cardiac catheterization lab quickly by having the patient remain on the ambulance stretcher and only briefly stop at the Emergency Department.

“Collaboration among pre-hospital providers, the hospital and community emergency resources is the essence of Mission: Lifeline.  It is gratifying to be recognized for driving improvements in care for patients in the community and raising the bar for emergency medical system providers,” said Rich Biedrzycki, EMS Chief for the Elizabeth Fire Department.

“Trinitas Regional Medical Center continues to be an innovative health care leader and invested community partner,” said Mayor J. Christian Bollwage. “From incorporating advanced technology to showcasing excellence in treatment, these hardworking, dedicated and skilled professionals remain committed to enhancing services and improving the quality of life for all.”