A gift from the Barnes-Jewish Hospital Foundation to the St. Louis City Fire Department helped to purchase 12-lead EKG monitors for al l the department’s Advanced Life Support Units—a technology that can shave precious minutes off the time it takes to start life-saving treatment for heart attack patients in the emergency department.

About 35 percent of Barnes-Jewish emergency patients arrive via emergency medical services, with the majority coming from the St. Louis Fire Department. Early information from 12-lead EKG monitors on heart attack patients provides official data from the scene and allows the emergency department to activate the cardiac catheterization team before the patient even arrives at the emergency department. As a result, no time is wasted recovering data needed for treatment decisions and patients get treated in the cardiac catheterization lab as much as 20 minutes faster.

“Such efforts have helped Barnes-Jewish maintain one of the best survival rates for heart attack in the nation,” says Karen Gist, MSN, RN, ONC, Barnes-Jewish director of emergency services.

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