By Sarah Klein
Winnipeg paramedics are now fully trained to provide therapy to patients suffering from severe types of heart attacks.
Paramedics are able to better respond to STEMI (ST segment Elevation Myocardial Infarction) heart attacks through advanced training.
“By training our PCP’s to activate the STEMI protocol, we have substantially increased the public’s access to the most timely heart attack care. This additional training will help save lives,” said Dr. Rob Grierson, medical director for the Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service.
The expansion of the STEMI program comes after the WFPS and the WRHA Cardiac Sciences Program was established in 2008. The average treatment time from the first point of emergency contact with a STEMI patient to percutaneous coronary intervention is about 70 minutes — 20 minutes below the industry average.
Since the inception in 2008, the program has treated approximately 200 patients each year. Since the program began, the risk of a person dying from a heart attack was one in 10, by 2015, the rate had fallen to one in 30.
The WFPS currently has 533 primary care paramedics on staff (365 firefighter PCP’s and 168 ambulance-based PCP’s).