As seen in Hudson Star Observer - March 7, by Randy Hanson
A pace setter in heart attack response
If you have heart disease, you're fortunate to live in the Hudson area. Nine years ago, St. Croix Emergency Medical Services became an Advanced Life Support service, allowing it's personnel to diagnose heart attacks in the field and administer front-line medications and procedures to keep patients alive.
The ability to diagnose eliminates a trip to the local hospital and allows the ambulance to take patients directly to an operating room at Regions or United hospitals in St. Paul. There, a catheter is inserted into the patient's artery and used to remove the blockage in the heart. In some cases, stents are placed in the heart to keep vessels open.
Every year since 2004, St. Croix EMS has done something to improve it's response to heart attacks and cardiac arrests, according to Kim Eby, chief of the ambulance service.
This year is no different. St. Croix EMS has been able to buy a machine that perfomrs CPR chest compressions, thanks to a $15,000 grant from the Hudson Hospital Foundation.
The Lucas 2 Chest Compression System went into service at the beginning of March, after all 60 members of the EMS crew were trained how to use it.