New system cuts heart attack treatment times

A new system developed at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences may help hospitals do a better job of saving heart attack victims by allowing paramedics to send heart rhythm records to waiting cardiologists using cellular phones. Metropolitan Emergency Medical Services (MEMS) paramedics who serve central Arkansas are planning to begin treating suspected heart attack victims using this system, which involves attaching standard EKG sensors to both the patient and the phone. Because this approach can let remote cardiologists make a diagnosis, it could save caregivers as much as 25 critical minutes, allowing facilities to perform needed interventions immediately when the patient arrives. To participate int he program, MEMS is spending $600,000 to add 42 heart monitors to its ambulances.

For more information on the new technology:
- read this Associated Press piece

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