Fort Walton Beach, FL – Fort Walton Beach Medical Center (FWBMC) is proud to announce the expansion of the LifeNet System by now providing EMS personnel and firefighters with the technology to help decrease the amount of time patients who are suffering from a heart attack wait before receiving critical, lifesaving interventions.
The LifeNet System allows fire department paramedics to transfer patient electrocardiogram (EKG) information directly to FWBMC by using the LifeNet modems attached to their cardiac monitors. An EKG is a test that checks for problems with electrical activity of the heart. The patient’s information is immediately sent to the hospital where physicians are able to examine their condition and can suggest treatment options before the patient leaves the scene. This also notifies the cardiac catheterization team at the hospital, allowing them to prepare for the patients arrival.
“A few minutes is a substantial amount of time for any heart attack patient. It is extremely important for physicians to receive the EKG information from anywhere in the area to help them coordinate the most effective treatment plan,” said Dr. Rodney Powell, Cardiologist and Chairman of the FWBMC Chest Pain Center Committee. “By reaching out to the firefighters in this region and equipping them with the latest technology, it reinforces the hospital’s commitment to helping those who are suffering from heart conditions in our community.”
FWBMC began using the LifeNet modems in partnership with local EMS in 2010, but recently expanded its program to firefighters in the area by purchasing and donating an additional 14 modems. In many cases, firefighters are the first medical crew to arrive on the scene of an emergency. By working with the fire departments to provide the LifeNet modems, it allows FWBMC to receive the EKG information more quickly.
“We’ve had phenomenal success in the past with the LifeNet modems and felt it was crucial to extend our reach to the fire departments in our community,” said Kevin Burton, FWBMC EMS Coordinator. “We are proud of our recent recertification as the tri-county area’s only Accredited Chest Pain Center and plan to continue our commitment to enhancing the patient experience at FWBMC through technologies such as the LifeNet modems.”