Heart machines are proving their worth - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Heart machines are proving their worth

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By Karen Cohilas - bio | email

October 1, 2008

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - The portable EKG machines Phoebe Putney donated to South Georgia ambulance services are saving lives.

Earlier this year, Phoebe gave 39 of the machines to Emergency Medical Services in eight South Georgia counties.

They allow emergency workers to diagnosis patients having heart attacks before they even reach the hospital. That cuts down on the time it takes patients to get into treatment and stop the heart attack. 

The national target time for a patient to get from the door of the hospital to treatment is 90 minutes. At Phoebe, the average time is just 68 minutes.

 "Time is muscle," said Emergency Center Director Todd Braswell. "That muscle dies and once it dies, it won't be brought back, so every minute that you save, it affects the quality of life that patient is going to have."

Hospital staffers are beginning a new campaign called 100% in 100 days, to make sure each patient who comes in with a heart event is in treatment in less than 90 minutes. The EKG machines cost Phoebe about half a million dollars.

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