Seal of Dane County County of Dane
County Executive's Office

Dane County Executive Falk and Area Hospitals Announce Faster Intervention for Heart Attack Patients

May 04, 2006
Lesley Sillaman, Office of the County Executive (608) 267-8823 or cell (608) 669-5606 or Carrie Meffert, Dane County EMS at (608) 266-5374 or cell (608) 445-8152
County Executive

Madison -- Dane County Executive Falk today announced the start of the 12-Lead program, a unique, state-of-the art advantage in the race to prevent heart damage as a result of a heart attack. Thanks to the generosity and combined efforts of the Dane County Emergency Medical Service (EMS) districts, Dane County, Meriter Hospital, St. Mary’s Hospital Medical Center, University Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics and Stoughton Hospital, high-resolution, diagnostic quality 12-lead electrocardiograms (EKGs) (named 12-lead because of the 12 pictures of the heart that are sent) can now be transmitted via cellular telephone while patients are in the ambulances, prior to arriving at the hospital. “This collaborative effort will save lives,” says Falk. A 12-lead EKG records the electrical impulses that occur just before the heart beats. The EKG also yields information about the heart’s function and structure, and is vital in the identification of a heart attack. “The advance information gives physicians and cardiologists the ability to expedite cardiac care at the hospital,” says Paul Stiegler, MD, medical director for Dane County Emergency Medical Services. “Training all levels of EMS to provide this level of care is a significant accomplishment and a real advance in the pre-hospital care of this county,” said Falk. “Dane County is the first county in the state where both Basic Life Support (BLS) providers and Advanced Life Support (ALS) providers are utilizing this technology.” To implement the new system EMS providers needed to be equipped with the 12-Lead defibrillators and receiving stations were installed in the hospitals. The12-Lead system digitally transmits crucial heart attack patient data and images to the hospital via cell phone while the patient is being transported to the hospital. The total cost of the equipment for the 12-Lead system is $246,000. Dane County budgeted $53,000 in the 2006 budget for the program and the hospitals each contributed $33,333 to the program. The EMS districts covered the remainder of the cost. # # #