News Release Center

5/10/2012 3:00:00 AM CENTRAL
Updated: 5/30/2012 3:46:48 PM CENTRAL
For more information, contact Cora Gremaud.
Emergency Medical Services Week Honored

May 20th-26th has been proclaimed “Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Week.”  Nationally, this week is used to highlight the contributions of those that provide emergency medical aid to others.

Your Emergency Medical Service team includes Paramedics, Emergency Medical Technicians, Nurses, and Technicians that respond to the sick and injured.  This week honors the dedication of those that are there 24 hours a day, seven days a week to answer the call to serve and those who provide the day-to-day lifesaving services of healthcare when seconds count.

EMS week is also a time to promote advances in early cardiac detection and care.  Missouri has launched an exciting new initiative, Time Critical Diagnosis System, to improve health outcomes for patients who suffer trauma, stroke, or heart attacks known as ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction, or STEMI. Specific therapies administered to STEMI patients within 90 minutes of symptoms, have proven to reduce mortality and disability. Missouri’s Time Critical Diagnosis System provides a model for organizing an integrated and coordinated approach to care for a STEMI patient.

More specifically, a STEMI is a type of heart attack.  The impaired blood flow to the patient’s heart muscle is shown by the ST-segment elevation in ECG analysis.  A STEMI is one type of heart attack that is a potentially fatal condition for which specific therapies, administered rapidly, reduce mortality and disability.  However, the more time that passes before blood flow is restored, the more damage that is done to the heart muscle.

Therefore, early detection and recognition is the key to providing the best outcomes.  Common heart attack symptoms include:

  • Pressure, a feeling of fullness or a squeezing pain in the center of your chest that lasts for more than a few minutes
  • Pain that extends beyond your chest to your shoulder, arm, back, or even to your teeth and jaw
  • Increasing episodes of chest pain
  • Prolonged pain in the upper abdomen
  • Shortness of breath with or without chest pain
  • Sweating
  • Impending sense of doom
  • Fainting
  • Nausea and vomiting.

Women may experience additional or different heart attack symptoms such as abdominal pain or heartburn, clammy skin, lightheadedness or dizziness, and unusual or unexplained fatigue.

Early treatment and stabilization by EMS, local emergency department staff, and rapid transportation for cardiac catheterization within the 90 minute window is vital.  Due to this, PCMH strongly encourages anyone that feels they are having a heart attack to call 9-1-1 immediately for care. 

During 2011, Perry County Memorial Hospital Ambulance Service responded to 2,189 emergency calls for service and Perry County Memorial Hospital cared for 9,656 patients in the Emergency Department.

The community is invited to honor the EMS teams and celebrate EMS week with a fun-filled, family-oriented afternoon at the Perryville Elk’s parking lot on Tuesday, May 22, 2012 from 2-6 pm.  Services that will be provided include Blood Pressure checks, car seat safety checks, freebies for the kids, and free hot dogs and drinks.   Additionally, the Perry County Memorial Hospital Ambulance, Perryville Fire Department, Perryville Police Department, Perry County Sheriff’s Department, Air Evac Helicopter, and CERT will be on display for viewing. 

Then, Cardiologist Dr. Duc Nguyen will be giving a free presentation at 7 pm that is open to the community as well.  His presentation, “Breaking the Cycle of Heart Disease,” will occur on the PCMH campus in Education Center Room A.   

The EMS celebration is sponsored by Perry County Memorial Hospital Emergency Department, Perry County Memorial Hospital Ambulance Service, and Air Evac Life Team - the EMS teams that are there when seconds count.