When you're having a heart attack, you'll want to have it in Jackson County. In 2009, Paramedics in Jackson County began transmitting 12-lead ECGs to receiving facilities. ECG transmission is nothing new, near the start of EMS, many services were able to send ECG tracing to hospitals. The tracings were poor and the equipment was bulky and difficult to get around but it was a start. Today, utilizing Bluetooth technology and a Philips MRx monitor, Jackson Paramedics send 12-lead ECGs to the receiving hospital using a cell phone carried in the ambulance.
When a patient is determined to be experiencing a potential heart attack, Paramedics will obtain a 12-lead ECG that will be interpreted. If the Paramedic finds any abnormality in the ECG, the tracing will be transmitted to the receiving hospital. Once the hospital receives the tracing, it is evaluated by a physician who will confirm the evaluation made by the Paramedic. With this advancement, receiving hospitals can direct the ambulance crew to bypass the emergency room and take the patient directly to the cardiac catheterization lab where the patient will receive definitive treatment to remove the occlusion or obstruction ending the heart attack. This time savings prevents further damage to the patient's heart and greatly improves the patient's outcome.