PARAMEDICS will play an important role in the treatment of heart patients in conjunction with Orange hospital under a new plan for the Western NSW Local Health District early next year.
Head of Orange Medical Staff Council and cardiologist Dr Ruth Arnold said the cardiology unit at the hospital has begun setting up a system which will work in conjunction with NSW Ambulance for electrocardiogram (ECG) readings of heart patients to be beamed directly back to the hospital
A cardiologist will then make an appraisal of the patient’s condition and approve appropriate medical intervention by the paramedic.
Under the system being rolled out across the state a paramedic will do an ECG on a patient and the results transmitted to Orange hospital.
Dr Arnold said if appropriate to the condition of the heart patient the highly trained paramedics will then be instructed to administer thrombolytic drugs which will start the process of breaking down a blood clot in the heart.
“In this type of situation timing is critical and we call it the golden hour,” said Dr Arnold.
Dr Arnold said the new paramedic training will buy a patient time until they can be treated at a cardiac unit, potentially saving a life.
“This is another exciting step forward and we are excited at the prospect of getting the system up and running once the training has been completed for paramedics,” she said.
Health Services Union paramedic representative Ian Spurway said the involvement of paramedics in the cardiology process was welcome.
“This really is cutting edge technology and not only does it enable paramedics to take their skills to another level, it plays an overall important part of the outcome for the patient,” Mr Spurway said.
Dr Arnold said the cardiology services offered out of the hospital now are in stark contrast to the initial setting up of a catheter laboratory for heart patients at the former Orange Base Hospital.
“We are all just so enthusiastic about the advances here at the hospital in so many ways,” she said.
Dr Arnold said the impending appointment of a haematologist, a heart failure nurse specialist, and the ongoing recruitment of specialist nursing staff and clinicians at the hospital continues to encourage doctors from the Orange Medical Staff Council at the hospital.