Sometimes You Get a Second Chance

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It can be difficult to know when one’s symptoms mean they are having a heart attack. Your Suffield Ambulance is staffed and equipped to help you make the correct call about what may be happening.

Here is a true story about a service call made by Suffield Ambulance recently that illustrates this, as recalled by Chief John Spencer. The crew on this call included Jaclyn Ellis, Andrew Romaniuk and Robert Edmonds.

“Our crew responded to a patient with chest pain. The pain went away on their arrival. The patient’s initial electrocardiogram showed no signs of a heart attack. The patient initially wanted to refuse care, but the crew was able to persuade them to be transported to a hospital for evaluation.

While en route to the hospital the patient’s pain returned. A repeat electrocardiogram showed that the patient was indeed having a heart attack. The crew was able to transmit that electrocardiogram to hospital staff that then activated a specialized cardiology team to prepare for the patient’s arrival. Still en route, the patient received several medications aimed at reopening the occluded arteries in their heart.

Upon arrival at the hospital the patient was rapidly greeted by the cardiology team and immediately taken upstairs still on the ambulance stretcher for a rapid intervention to reopen the occluded arteries. While traveling to the surgical suite, the patient went into cardiac arrest. Because of the pre-arrival notice and the hospital team being on standby, the patient was successfully resuscitated and underwent emergency procedures to reopen the patient’s occluded arteries. The patient was discharged from the hospital several days later and has made a full recovery!

More than 350,000 people suffer from out-of-hospital cardiac arrests in the United States every year. Of those, 60-80% will die before reaching the hospital. Cardiac arrests occur when the heart suddenly stops beating and blood no longer circulates throughout the body. Many of these arrests occur in patients who complained of indiscrete chest pain or symptoms that aren’t always associated with a heart attack. You should call 911 if you experience chest pain that is sudden, lasts more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back. You should never try to drive yourself or a loved one with these symptoms. Our ambulances and crews are equipped and trained to rapidly identify patients having heart attacks by conducting electrocardiograms that can also be transmitted to a receiving hospital to be reviewed by cardiology specialists.”

Suffield Ambulance News and Notes
181 total Service Calls were made in April. Our Mobile Open House events will occur in July in cooperation with the Suffield Police and Fire Departments.

Eighty-two individuals currently serve as EMT and Paramedic volunteers in addition to seven staff members. More volunteers are needed to train, learn and serve. Please call 860-668-3881 for more information or with questions.

Our Neighbor Helping Neighbors letter was mailed to all Suffield homes at the end of May. Donations to Suffield Ambulance can also be made at Suffield Ambulance is not a town agency and your gift is critical to help perform vital services.

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