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Feb 8, 2010 5:00 PM by Veronica White

Heart Month: Wireless Technology Saves Lives

Heart attack patients are getting help in half the time it took before, thanks to the latest wireless technology. Time was wasted in the past while getting to the hospital and figuring out what to do once the patient arrived.

For week 2 of "Heart Month" KATC learned about this technology that allows medics to work much quicker, thus saving lives.

It saved patient Bill Clark of Lafayette, who just had a heart attack in January. Acadian Ambulance took him to Heart Hospital while using the equipment.

"I'm very impressed-- they expedited the time when I was running out of time," says Clark.

The wireless data gateways transmit information called EKGs directly to the hospital ER from the patient's home.

Then the paramedics continue communicating from the ambulance to the hospital throughout the ride to get the appropriate medical team ready.

This means the time it takes to get help is cut, and in this situation doctors say time is key. Every second counts.

"In heart attacks the most important thing is always time. Time is muscle, so the sooner you get blood flowing to the portion of the heart having the attack, the better the patient does," says Dr. Stephen Simpson, a cardiologist at Heart Hospital.

Lafayette is the first area in the state to start using this technology.

"It's very clear the difference that its making in patient outcomes and the quality of life patients are experiencing after a heart attack," says Richard Pellerin of Acadian Ambulance.

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