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Aspirus St. Luke's 20th Annual EMS Recognition Event

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Dr. James Mohn, St. Luke's Cardiologist; Trisha Dearhamer, RN; Amy Welty, RN; Kevin Alajoki, EMT-P; Matt Spangler, EMT-P; Stan Sadenwasser, St. Luke's Cadiovascular CoordinatorThe 20th annual EMS Recognition Event was held at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center (DECC) on Tuesday, April 14. The evening honored EMS professionals for their knowledgeable and selfless service to the community. The Washburn Ambulance, Ashland Fire Department and Memorial Medical Center were recognized for their involvement with a ST segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) case. Each group received a plaque recognizing their quick response in caring for the patient. Receiving the awards were:

Washburn Ambulance

  • Dan Clark, EMT
  • Lisa Verville, EMT
  • Scott Griffiths, EMT

Ashland Fire Department

  • Matt Spangler, EMT-P
  • Kevin Alajoki, EMT-P
  • John Granger

Memorial Medical Center

  • Dr. Terrence Asplund
  • Jacquelyn Brown, RN
  • Amy Welty, RN
  • Trisha Dearhamer, RN
  • Corrina Tikka, RN

When treating STEMI patients, time is of the essence. “Only 19 minutes lapsed from the time the patient arrived at Memorial Medical Center until medication was administered and that is remarkable,” said St. Luke’s Cardiologist Dr. James Mohn. “If it weren’t for the quick responses of the EMTs, paramedics and Memorial Medical Center, the outcome for the patient could have been much different.” According to the American Heart Association, each year in the United States, approximately 250,000 people have a STEMI caused by a complete blockage of blood flow to the heart that requires timely treatment.

“We are honored to award the Washburn Ambulance, Ashland Fire Department and Memorial Medical Center with this award for their outstanding medical care for the patient,” said Stan Sadenwasser, St. Luke’s Cardiovascular Coordinator. “This is an example of extraordinary teamwork among entities and an example of improving patient outcomes by working together.”

The annual EMS Recognition Event is sponsored by St. Luke’s every April and recognizes EMS professionals by providing an education program, dinner and recognition of their time and efforts in the community to help others in need.

Description of the Incident

Washburn Ambulance responded to a call from a 76-year-old male who was having severe chest pains in January 2015. After assessing the case, they called for an intercept team of paramedics from the Ashland Fire Department. The paramedics a 12 lead EKG and determined the patient was having a severe heart attack, also known as a STEMI. Memorial Medical Center was prepared to receive the patient and administered appropriate medication 19 minutes after the patient’s arrival. The patient was ground transported to St. Luke’s in Duluth, where Cardiologist Dr. James Mohn treated him. After stabilization, he was moved to the ICU and appropriately was treated in the cardiac catherization lab the next day. Today, the patient is doing well.

From the time of first medical contact with the Washburn ambulance to the time of arrival at St. Luke’s, only 187 minutes lapsed.