Cutting the Minutes to Save a Life; WMC Urges 911 when Heart Attack Strikes

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the US according to CDC findings.

What's raising the risk is a trend first responders notice across the nation.

News 13's Bobby Poitevint joins us live in studio with details on the startling trend.

The first thing one needs to do is call 911 immediately.

First responders said when someone suffers from a heart attack many drive themselves or have someone drive them to the ER.

EMS staff told News 13 it is extremely dangerous, not just for you, but those of us around you.

Every 40 seconds someone in the US dies from a heart attack, according CDC data.

One of the biggest factors is victims driving to the ER alone or having a friend or family member drive them.

Mica Elmore, BSN RN at Wyoming Medical Center commented, “We've had some very sad-end scenarios where we had family members who have told us, ‘what could we've done more,’ the real truth is what they could have done more is called 911"

WMC Paramedic Andrea Bitner added to the conversation, “Heart attacks can turn into full arrests and we're like a mini ER back here so we can take care of a patient if their heart stops and a family member can’t do that."

First responders said once 911 is dialed, someone will arrive within minutes.

EMS units are located across the state around our small and large communities.

Even sheriff's deputies are likely to respond and start immediate care.
"For every medical call in the city of Casper or Natrona County you'll get a fire response as well as an ems response from the hospital."

News 13 questioned, "What’s the responses time here in Casper once someone dials 911?"

"On average when we look at all the heart attack reports you most likely will get a Casper Fire Department or an EMS worker at your door within three minutes."

James Harbuz at Natrona County Fire/EMS said
Medical treatment starts immediately when first responders arrive, “Five and a 12 EKG which takes a look at your heart. We can judge what’s going on by that. We will send that to the hospital and that’s maybe one of the biggest things we can do we will remotely transmit that to the hospital so the doctors can have a look at it before the patient even gets there."

Doctors can even review ECG's by their phone and save time.

"We can start IVs, we can get medications on board like aspirin and whatever else we need and just get the patient up and going.

Sometimes we're so lined out that we don't even have to go to the ER we can by-pass and go right to the Cath Lab."

Then by identifying the blockage a stint or balloon is placed to restore blood flow, eliminating the heart attack.

Paramedics say, when having heart attack stay calm.

Don't take any medication unless prescribed for your heart.

Also, have someone gather any of your prescribed medications and medical records before responders arrive.

Cardiovascular coordinators told News 13; ten minutes can be saved by calling 911 right away.