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County EMS Receives ‘Gold Plus’ Recognition from American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline Program

Post Date:06/13/2018 4:00 PM

Durham, NC – The Durham County Emergency Medical Services Department has received the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline® EMS Gold Plus Award for implementing quality improvement measures for the treatment of patients who experience severe heart attacks. This is the highest level of recognition available to EMS agencies under the AHA’s Mission: Lifeline program that works to improve systems of care for cardiac patients in both the pre-hospital and hospital settings using the most up-to-date evidence-based treatment guidelines to improve patient care and outcomes in Durham County.


“Durham County EMS is dedicated to providing optimal pre-hospital emergency care for heart attack patients,” Interim EMS Director Kevin Underhill said. “Our EMTs and paramedics play a vital part in the system of care for patients who have heart attacks. We are pleased to be recognized for our dedication and achievements in emergency medical care efforts through Mission: Lifeline.”


Every year, more than 250,000 people experience an ST elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI), the deadliest type of heart attack caused by a blockage of blood flow to the heart that requires timely treatment. To prevent death, it’s critical to restore blood flow as quickly as possible, either by mechanically opening the blocked vessel or by providing clot-busting medication.


The Mission: Lifeline initiative provides tools, training and other resources to support heart attack care following protocols from the most recent evidence-based treatment guidelines. Mission: Lifeline’s EMS recognition program recognizes emergency medical services for their efforts in improving systems of care to rapidly identify suspected heart attack patients, promptly notify the medical center and trigger an early response from the awaiting hospital personnel.


“EMTs and paramedics play a vital part in the system of care for those who have heart attacks,” said Tim Henry, M.D., Chair of the Mission: Lifeline Acute Coronary Syndrome Subcommittee. “Since they often are the first medical point of contact, they can save precious minutes of treatment time by activating the emergency response system that alerts hospitals to an incoming heart attack patient. We applaud Durham County EMS for achieving this award in following evidence-based guidelines in the treatment of people who have severe heart attacks.”


For more information on Emergency Medical Services in Durham County, visit the EMS website.


About Mission: Lifeline

The American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline® program helps hospitals and emergency

medical services develop systems of care that follow proven standards and procedures for acute coronary syndrome patients. The program works by mobilizing teams across the continuum of care to implement American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology clinical treatment guidelines.  For more information, visit



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