Life Net: Quicker Cardiac Care

Hospitals in our area are working to increase a patient's chances of survival by starting cardiac care sooner.

Cardiovascular disease is the number one health hazard in this country. This year it will claim the lives of 600,000 people nationwide.

Dr. Joseph Baker, Chief of Staff at Capitol Regional Medical Center, says, "Southeast had one of the highest cardiovascular disease rates because of diet and tobacco use."

Capitol Regional Medical Center is working to decrease the mortality rate by implementing a new system called Lifenet. It allows emergency room doctors to see what's happening with a patient while in the field.

Sharon Roush, Chief Executive Officer at Capitol Regional Medical Center, says, "Be able to transmit a patient’s EKG electronically so chest pain treatment can start in field where symptoms occur."

Using cell phone lines, Lifenet sends EKG readings back to the receiving station in the ER, buying doctors valuable time.

Steven Blake, an emergency doctor, says, "When you can have someone in field put EKG on that is 15 minutes away, that is 15 I've got to notify [the] catheterization team.”

Every Leon County ambulance is in the process of being equipped with the Lifenet receiving station so cardiac care can start sooner.

Lifenet can also be used by other hospitals that have receiving stations. That includes Tallahassee Memorial, which welcomes the opportunity for both community hospitals to provide improved cardiac care.