CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas -- Some local ambulances now have technology capable of transmitting data about heart attack patients to a physician's email, fax, computer, tablet or smartphone in real-time.
Corpus Christi Medical Center invested in the technology for five ambulances to accelerate a patient's treatment for potentially fatal heart attacks and rhythm disorders.
The system electronically transmits the results of a patient's echocardiogram, which tests the heart's electrical activity, to physicians, allowing them to identify heart attacks and other rhythm disorders quicker and prepare for treatment, such as stents or balloons to open clogged arteries.
National standards say heart attack patients have better outcomes if they receive stents, or balloons, within 90 minutes of arriving at the hospital. Doctors Regional and Bay Area Hospitals, on average, implant the stents within 60 minutes.