Ambulance Service Aiming To Reduce Heart Attack Treatment Time

ambulance 4South Western Ambulance Service will try reduce the time taken for heart attack patients to receive critical angioplasty treatment.

This involves inserting a small balloon into an artery to clear any blocked blood vessels in the heart.

Martyn Callow from SWAST told members of last week’s Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee that there’s a national target of 150 minutes from the patients first call, to the balloon being inserted by a doctor in hospital.

SWAST currently achieve this for only 75% of patients and they want to increase that to 84% by the end of March next year.

He said they’re doing a detailed analysis to find out where the hold up is.

The service had also hoped to increase the number of patients being identified with life threatening sepsis, an infection of the blood stream.

Martyn says 37,000 people a year die from the condition nationally, but the service failed to hit its target of reducing missed sepsis diagnosis by 50% last year.

They’re continuing to aim for that target this year.

Vice Chair of HOSC, Mike Nelhams said it was good to see this work being carried out.

But Cllr Chris Savill said it would be “hugely beneficially” to see specific data related to the islands, rather than regional information.

And the Senior Manager for Services to the Community, Aisling Hick, said the ambulance service has had four bad quarters on the mainland. She said it wasn’t clear whether that was reflected on the islands.

Mr Callow said feedback from the islands’ Healthwatch survey had been very positive, showing that residents felt the service was good quality, prompt and efficient.

Cllr Savill also thanked the service for training the off-island first responder volunteers to such a high standard.