Data line that saves lives

Data line that saves lives

The most common cause of death in germany is diseases of the cardiovascular system. In 2010, 8325 people died of heart attacks in bavaria alone. In an emergency, every minute counts, because the sooner a coronary vessel blocked by a thrombus can be recanalized, the sooner the heart can be reopened, the better the prognosis for the patient.

Special attention is therefore also being paid to the cooperation between the rescue service and the hospital. This is how the "heart attack care" network was established in 2007 initiated between the rescue association of emergency doctors and rescue services organized in the bamberg-forchheim region and the bamberg social foundation. The goal was and is to make acute care for patients with heart attacks in the region even faster and more efficient.
This is also the direction taken by the so-called lifenet system that has now been introduced at the bamberg hospital. The principle: ECG data is sent wirelessly from the ambulance to the hospital. This allows the cardiologist in the intensive care unit to make an assessment and take all the necessary measures before the patient is even admitted to the hospital.

During transport, the doctor on duty at the hospital, specially trained nurses in the internal emergency department and, in particular, the cardiac catheter intervention team with the responsible senior cardiologist are informed about the so-called "rapid cascade" alerts. If the patient arrives, revascularization measures can be taken immediately. This means that the closed coronary vessels are opened in a cardiac catheterization laboratory, thus enabling the blood supply to important areas of the heart muscle to be restored.

Clear symptoms

the head of the bamberg emergency doctors, hans-joachim herold, explains that "of those who have changes in the ECG curve, 95 percent have actually had a heart attack. Among those without clear ECG findings, it is 50 percent". The symptoms are varied: from a feeling of pressure and tightness on the left side to pressure between the shoulder blades to shortness of breath and burning pain and fear of death or the feeling of a heavy stone on the chest. The symptoms are the same for men and women.
The majority of infarct patients are in their early to mid-40s to 60s, estimates herold. Some of them were 18- to 20-year-olds, but they usually had pre-existing conditions such as oedematous disorders. The risk factors are well known: unhealthy lifestyle (smoking), high cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes.

The telemetry ECG transmission function via the lifenet system has recently been installed on most ambulances of the rescue services in the bamberg region, thus enabling rapid and efficient acute care for heart attack patients. The general survival rate will be increased, the doctors emphasize.

"The cost of implementing the lifenet system, including the installation of ambulances, is 38,000 euros", informs martin braun, chief physician at the hospital. The costs were paid for by the social foundation, and a request for payment is currently underway.

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