If you have a heart attack, Winnipeg’s paramedics are better prepared to treat it. All 533 Primary Care Paramedics are now trained in STEMI protocol.
It means all paramedics on a fire truck or ambulance can deal with even the most severe attacks immediately.
“Sometimes they arrive and are the only paramedic on the scene,” said Dr.Rob Grierson, Medical Director for Winnipeg Fire and Paramedic, “In the past the advanced care paramedic would have to do everything but now we can have things going on simultaneously.”
The protocol is used to identify the cardiac event and co-ordinate treatment with a doctor. Along with the STEMI training(ST-elevation myocardial infarction, a more precise definition for a type of heart attack), paramedics can use a phone application to send all figures to the on call cardiologist.
“We can see what they see.” Says Dr. Davinder Jassal, the medical director for the Winnipeg Health Region’s coronary care unit. “We actually interpret the heart tracing to make sure it is an attack.”
Around 200 people suffer from a STEMI heart attack each year in our city. It’s caused by a prolonged period of blocked blood supply that affects a large area of the heart and calls for a quick response.
Since the program began in 2008, risk of dying from a heart attack has dropped from 1 in 10 to 1 in 30.