American Heart Association grant reduces emergency response time




Posted on November 20, 2012 at 5:28 PM

Updated Tuesday, Nov 20 at 6:30 PM

DALLAS – Delicious plans for Thanksgiving wouldn't be possible for 84-year old Jeanne Holms if she hadn't called her daughter last April.

"I said I thought I might be having a heart attack," recalls Holms. "I don't know why I said it. she said, 'Hang up and call 911.' And I did."

Holms says she wasn't experiencing traditional chest pain; she just felt bad. From the time she called 911, was loaded into a Mesquite ambulance, and made it into surgery at Doctor's hospital White Rock Lake, only 90 minutes had passed. That's half the time it takes on national average.

The hospital and paramedics were honored by the American Heart Association Tuesday for their quick response.

Every day in Dallas County, about 30 people suffer a heart attack. Efforts in Dallas are helping make sure more of those people not only survive -- but thrive. Streamlining emergency protocols for heart attacks is part of a $3.5 million AHA grant, involving 17 hospitals and 23 EMS providers.

"Patient outcomes and having complications related to heart attack care have been reduced," says Leilani Stuart, "Because we're improving the overall patient treatment times."

"The more time until you open up that artery," adds Dr. Bob Hillert, "there's more damage to the heart muscle. And that damage to the heart muscle is what predicts future outcome."

Thanks to a fast response, Jeanne Holms wasn't one of those who died. She has suffered no long-term effects,

"My family and I are very grateful for the way everything happened," she says.