6 min read

STROKE: 10 Things You Need to Know to Save Lives

By Team Pulsara on Feb 22, 2021

EMS plays a critical role in identifying, treating, and directing stroke patients into a system of care. Time is brain for stroke patients, and as the first on-scene, your response time is critical to quickly identifying stroke symptoms, alerting the right care teams, and getting the patient the care they need. Every minute you can shave off their treatment time saves tissue and makes a big difference to the patient's quality of life. 

With those things in mind, here are 10 things you need to know about stroke:

3 min read

Putting a [Pit] Stop to Bottlenecks in Healthcare Communication

By Brandon Means on Feb 05, 2021

What do EMS and hospital care teams have in common with NASCAR drivers?

Quite a bit, as it turns out. The success or failure of both hinges on one thing: time. 

It might surprise even dedicated fans to learn that all of the cars on the track are limited to the same top speed and horsepower range. With this being the case, how can it be that there is such a large disparity between first and last place?

The answer: The race is won and lost during the pit stop.

Topics: Stroke STEMI Coordinators' Corner Sepsis Trauma Time Sensitive Emergencies Connected Teams
2 min read

How’s Your Heart? 7 Tips to a Healthier Heart

By Kinsie Clarkson on Feb 01, 2021

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, hearts are everywhere—heart decorations, heart candies, heart cards, even heart pancakes for the more creative sweethearts. But one of the most important hearts of all too often gets overlooked: Your heart (or your heart health, to be specific)! 

February is American Heart Month: a national event to raise awareness about heart disease and what you can do to decrease your risks. Heart disease is the #1 cause of death for Americans, killing over 650,000 people annually. It is responsible for 1 in 4 deaths in the U.S. each year, and one person dies every 36 seconds from cardiovascular disease (that's heart disease and stroke combined). And that's not just for older adults; heart disease is becoming more and more common in young adults, making it important to learn whether you might be at risk.

Topics: STEMI Wellness Health Sudden Cardiac Arrest
3 min read

Mobilize Your Care Teams Early to Maximize Peak Performance

By Brittany Means, RN, BSN on Jan 22, 2021

Picture this:

About 12 hours into your 24-hour shift, you and your partner are finally sitting down to your first real meal of the day.

Just as the first bite of warm food hits your lips, the tones drop—an all-too-familiar scenario in the world of first responders. 

You’re dispatched to a 51-year-old male reporting chest pain. You walk in the door to a very distraught family, gathered around a man clutching his chest. He is pale and sweating profusely. You meet your partner’s eyes, and you know you’re both thinking the same thing. You quickly obtain the ECG and your suspicions are confirmed: tombstones in leads II, III, and AVF.

Topics: Stroke STEMI EMS Coordinators' Corner
1 min read

St. Bernards Medical Center Improves STEMI Care Coordination (Case Study)

By Kinsie Clarkson on Sep 09, 2020

With state-of-the-art facilities and well-trained caregivers, St. Bernards’ cardiac teams were already achieving door-to-balloon (DTB) times well within the recommended guidelines for STEMI response. But that didn’t stop them from looking for ways to get even better.

“We have a lean process for STEMI response, but we needed a way to see the bigger picture for identifying areas we could improve,” said Lindsey Stacy, the hospital’s STEMI coordinator.

Topics: STEMI Press Communication Connected Teams Systems of Care Customer Success
2 min read

Longview Regional Medical Center Achieves Record STEMI Treatment Times (Case Study)

By Kinsie Clarkson on Jun 12, 2020

Longview Regional Medical Center (LRMC) has long had a well-designed and fully functioning process for identifying and rapidly treating STEMI patients. The hospital was meeting its goal of keeping door-to-reperfusion times under 60 minutes; as a result, patient outcomes were generally very good. Despite their satisfactory performance, the teams at LRMC believed they could reduce their treatment times even further to improve patient outcomes.

Topics: STEMI Press Communication Connected Teams Systems of Care Customer Success
7 min read

Where Are the STEMIs and Strokes? Doctors Urge Patients Not to Wait

By Kinsie Clarkson on May 08, 2020

Since COVID-19 began spreading in the United States in March, emergency departments have seen a sharp decrease in the number of STEMI and stroke patients coming through their doors. For almost two months, polls and anecdotal evidence have suggested that this is happening all over the country, as well as in countries like Spain, the UK, and China. The Journal of the American College of Cardiology decided to conduct a formal study of nine major hospitals across the U.S. On April 7th, they released the results, confirming with statistical evidence what doctors have been experiencing: on average, the nine hospitals saw a 38% reduction in cath lab activations for STEMI patients.

Topics: Stroke STEMI COVID-19
1 min read

Arkansas Healthcare System Uses New Communication Approach to Improve STEMI Patient Outcomes [Case Study]

By Hannah Ostrem on Mar 06, 2020

Saint Mary’s Regional Health System is a Joint-Commission-accredited Level III Trauma Center, located in Russellville, Arkansas. The 170-bed hospital has delivered care to the River Valley community for the past 90 years, and alongside Pope County EMS since 1967.

Saint Mary’s and Pope County EMS have a long-standing relationship built on a shared value of putting patients first. As the only hospital and EMS agency serving their region, they together perform emergency response for 28,000 patients annually.

Topics: STEMI EMS Communication Connected Teams Systems of Care Customer Success
4 min read

How One Hospital and EMS System is Reducing Time to Treatment for STEMI Patients [White Paper]

By Team Pulsara on Mar 02, 2020

Because time is muscle during a STEMI, early intervention directly translates to lowering mortality and morbidity rates. At CarolinaEast and surrounding EMS agencies, making the appropriate communication changes has been an effective catalyst in reducing time to treatment and saving patients’ lives.

Topics: STEMI Connected Teams Systems of Care Customer Success
1 min read

New AHA Algorithm Encourages ED Pre-Activation and Direct-to-Cath-Lab Protocols

By Hannah Ostrem on Jan 23, 2020

In emergency conditions like STEMI, patient outcomes depend heavily on the time between onset of symptoms to definitive treatment. As such, clinicians should make every effort possible to reduce any delays during that period. 

To that aim, an algorithm developed by the American Heart Association, and published earlier this week, establishes a standardized process which encourages pre-activation of the ED and determines when direct-to-cath-lab protocols are appropriate.

Topics: STEMI Connected Teams Systems of Care
6 min read

STEMI, Stroke, Sepsis and ROSC: A Decade for EMS Systems of Care

By Mic Gunderson on Dec 20, 2019

EDITOR'S NOTE: The following article was first published on EMS1.com. Special thanks to guest author, Mic Gunderson*

In the coming decade, EMS will be engaged in even more efforts to triage patients in the field to route them to the most appropriate hospitals.

Systems of care is a term that commonly refers to healthcare delivery that involves multiple organizations. EMS is deeply involved in systems of care for time-sensitive conditions like major trauma, STEMI, and cardiac arrest. Formal integration of EMS into those systems of care started in the 1960s and 70s – and the success of those early systems initiatives has continued to reverberate into this decade.

Topics: Stroke STEMI EMS Sepsis Systems of Care
1 min read

A Pulsara STEMI Case Demo

By Hannah Ostrem on Oct 31, 2019

Pulsara is a communication platform that connects teams across organizations. Want to see how it works? While the demo video below focuses on a STEMI case started by EMS, STEMI is only one of the many conditions your teams can use Pulsara for. Additionally, care teams can start a case on Pulsara in the ED for walk in patients, from anywhere else in the facility for inpatients, and can use the platform to manage interfacility transfers.

Topics: STEMI
2 min read

The Changing Face of STEMI and Stroke Care

By Barry Hickerson, EMT-P on Sep 25, 2019

When I was fresh out of Paramedic school, STEMI and stroke patients were something we couldn’t do much about except monitor and transport. To be honest, we hadn’t even started using the term "STEMI," and we were years away from giving aspirin. Patients who survived to get discharged out of the CCU or ICU (there were no stroke units then) went on to rehab or an extended care facility with a shoebox full of meds. They were armed with lots of Digitalis and Lasix, but not much hope.


Topics: Stroke STEMI Healthcare Regional Systems of Care
2 min read

How to Reduce Door-to-ECG Times

By Shane Elmore, RN on Jul 19, 2019

Fewer things are more frustrating for a medic than calling in a STEMI. First, they have to send the ECG in for the physician to see before they arrive at the hospital, and then they are asked to stop at the door to get another one using the hospital’s ECG machine. When they could be out saving more lives, duplicating their efforts is the last thing they want to be doing. This practice also slows your hospital's door-to-ECG times, and therefore your overall time-to-treatment as well.

There used to be a time when prehospital ECGs were lacking in quality compared to those obtained using hospital machinery. Field ECGs simply weren't of diagnostic quality - but today's field monitors have come a long way, and are now of comparable quality to hospital machinery. As such, it no longer makes sense to require medics to repeat their ECG upon hospital arrival.
Topics: STEMI
1 min read

Fire Chief Signs Teams up for Pulsara ... and Then They Use it to Respond to His Own Heart Attack

By Brittney Nelson, BSN, RN, SCRN on Mar 18, 2019

“When I signed us up [for Pulsara], I had no idea I’d be one of the patients to use it.” -  El Dorado Fire Chief Mosby.

Topics: STEMI Communication
2 min read

Research Reveals the True Impact EMS Providers Have on STEMI Survivability

By Courtney Chumley on Mar 11, 2019

Picture this: You receive a 911 call for chest pain, and on arrival you are quick to identify that your patient is having a STEMI. You quickly load the patient into the medic unit and then notify the receiving facility you are on the way. You find out later that your patient went to the cath lab and is now in recovery doing well. Job well done….or was it?

Topics: STEMI EMS Communication
2 min read

Australian Health System Achieves Faster Treatment for Every Stage of Patient Journey With Pulsara [Preliminary Research]

By Hannah Ostrem on Dec 07, 2018

"Preliminary results show that every stage of the patient journey is faster when Pulsara is used."
Teams at  the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health  in Victoria, Australia are setting new care standards for patients suffering suspected stroke or STEMI.
As part of their Pre-Hospital Real-time cOMmunication using Pulsara Technology (PROMPT) Project, the care teams have implemented Pulsara to determine whether the platform can help improve treatment times for critical conditions by  facilitating communication between and  among EMS teams and care teams at the hospital.
Pulsara is quickly dominating the United States healthcare space as the only regional communication network for healthcare, but the platform is now widely used in Australia too. Researchers of the PROMPT project recently unveiled their preliminary findings.
Topics: Stroke STEMI EMS Australia
2 min read

Creating a Culture of Resuscitation Excellence [Checklist]

By Jeff Jensen on Nov 13, 2018

Last February, the American Heart Association committed to saving 50,000 additional lives from in-hospital sudden cardiac arrest by 2025. In July, they announced RQI 2020 that offers a comprehensive end-to-end quality improvement program designed to deliver higher quality of CPR to health care systems.  The market debut will be January of 2019 through its newly formed joint venture with Laerdal, RQI Partners, LLC.

So what is RQI?

Resuscitation Quality Improvement, or RQI, is intended to improve Basic Life Support (BLS) and Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS) skills, while also making training more convenient for healthcare providers. Students can take the cognitive components of testing online and then test their psychomotor skills with real-time feedback by performing CPR at mobile Simulation Stations (such as SIM-MT, the state-wide simulation project based in Pulsara's home town of Bozeman, MT) equipped with adult and infant manikins.

Topics: STEMI EMS nursing
2 min read

Pre-Activating the Cath Lab May Improve STEMI Survival Rates [New Research]

By Hannah Ostrem on Oct 04, 2018

According to a recent study published in JACC: Cardiovascular Interventions, activating the cath lab for patients with STEMI diagnosis before their arrival at the hospital led to significantly shorter wait times, shorter door-to-device times, and ultimately reduced mortality. 

A review of the study in MedPage Today stated: "Activating the cardiac catheterization laboratory at least 10 minutes before an ST-segment elevation MI (STEMI) patient arrived at the hospital was associated with less reperfusion delay -- and possibly better in-hospital survival, a large registry study showed.

Among patients with a pre-hospital diagnosis of STEMI who were transported by ambulance to a percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) center, 41% had the cardiac cath lab activated more than 10 minutes before hospital arrival. Compared to cases with later cath lab activation, these patients were more likely to (P<0.001 for all):

  • Be transported directly to the cath lab (23.3% versus 5.3%)
  • Spend less time between hospital arrival and cath lab arrival (median 17 versus 28 min)
  • Have shorter door-to-device time (40 versus 52 min)
  • Achieve first medical contact-to-device times of 90 min or less (76.6% versus 68.6%)
1 min read

Regional Communication Networks are Key to a Systems of Care Approach to Medicine.

By Hannah Ostrem on Sep 28, 2018

Tomorrow at 8:00am PST, Pulsara's Founder and CEO, Dr. James Woodson, will be speaking at Take Heart America's State of the Future of Resuscitation Conference in Oakland, CA. The goal of the conference is to "discuss ways to combine the best evidence and experience from the innovative work of the participants to optimize the systems-of-care approach to cardiac arrest."

Dr. Woodson will present about the need for regional communication networks, and how they are critical to a systems of care approach to cardiac arrest. 

A recent study published in JAMA Cardiology, and featured in Reuters highlights the importance of this topic. The study aimed to determine whether a difference exists in survival rates for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest depending on which EMS agency first treats the patient. 
According to the Reuters summary of the study,  "The odds of surviving to hospital discharge could vary by more than 50% for two similar patients treated by two randomly selected EMS agencies."
Topics: STEMI