New equipment provides quicker treatment for heart attacks


KINGSPORT, Tenn. - Damage from a heart attack can occur in a matter of minutes, so getting prompt treatment is crucial.

Patients transported to Indian Path Medical Center for treatment of heart attacks can now get even faster treatment, thanks to new equipment in the Emergency Department. IPMC’s new 12-lead electrocardiogram machine can receive ECG readings directly from the ambulance while the patient is en route to the hospital.

“With heart attacks, time really is muscle,” said Lasuela Carter, director of emergency services at IPMC. “The fact that EMS can transmit that 12-lead ECG in the field gives us the opportunity to have the cath lab ready before the patient gets here. We do have interventional services, and we can get the patient to the intervention very quickly.”

It takes only 45 seconds to transmit the ECG results from the ambulance to the Emergency Department. That detailed information allows clinicians to map out a treatment plan before the patient arrives and begin treatment immediately upon arrival without wasting precious seconds repeating the test. Funding for the equipment was provided by two of IPMC’s Foundation events; the “Tree of Life” and “Evening with the Path” events raised $40,000 in community donations.

“We are so pleased that the community stepped up to fund this piece of life-saving equipment,” said Vivian Crymble, coordinator for the Indian Path Foundation. “These donations from the caring hearts of our neighbors will help save the hearts of our friends and loved ones across the region.” For more information on cardiac services provided at IPMC, call 423-857-7000 or visit

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