Door to Balloon Race and ‘Unblock' party for EMS Week

St. Joseph Regional Health Network is planning numerous activities for national Emergency Medical Services Week 2014, which starts May 19 including the demonstration of a new chest compression device that helps sustain vital blood circulation in cardiac arrest patients, a cardiac catheterization ‘unblock’ party and a fun-filled race pitting area EMS crews against each other to record the fastest Door to Balloon time. Also, three Fleetwood Ambulance first-responders will be honored for their quick intervention in the treatment of a woman suffering a brain bleed whose four-year-old child summoned help.

On Monday, May 19, Christopher Greb of the Macungie Ambulance (Lehigh County) will recount his crew’s experience in using the LUCAS automated chest compression device on a 61-year-old patient who suffered cardiac arrest at a car show. Greb will discuss—and demo—the use of the machine and how it—along with seven separate defibrillations—brought the patient back to life. The mechanical CPR device performed compressions at the proper rate and depth in a fully controlled, uninterrupted manner while allowing the EMS providers to secure the airway, attach the cardiac monitor, start an IV and administer resuscitative medications. The presentation will be held Monday at 7 p.m. in the Franciscan Room.

On Tuesday, May 20, starting at noon, all EMS professionals will be treated to a Bar-B-Q lunch, followed by the presenting of the EMS Service Excellence Award to members of the Fleetwood Ambulance. The Fleetwood crew combined with a Fleetwood Police Officer and the four-year-old son of Corryn Barrell to save her life after she sustained a severe brain bleed.

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The award ceremony will be followed by the inaugural “Door to Balloon Litter Race” at 1 p.m. in the Bern Campus parking lot. Area EMS providers will offer up teams of three to race their hospital litter through an obstacle course on the way to setting a record “door to balloon time.” Also known as D2B, Door to Balloon refers to the time it takes a catheterization team to open a patient’s block artery to restore blood flow to the entire body following a heart attack.

The ‘unblock party’, also on Tuesday, will feature a tour of the cardiac catheterization labs where EMS staff will see where patients they have rushed the hospital are successfully treated for blocked arteries and where they will meet members of the St. Joseph Interventional Cardiology team.

St. Joseph’s Emergency Department treats nearly 48,000 patients annually, and is a certified chest pain and stroke center.