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Boyd County recently received HeartSafe Community designation by The Kentucky Department for Public Health’s Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Program, Kentucky Board of Emergency Medical Services and the American Heart Association.  

“This means Boyd County promotes and supports critical links in the chain of survival for cardiac arrest patients,” said Fred Jackson, president/CEO of King’s Daughters Medical Center. “When someone suffers sudden cardiac arrest they must receive emergency help quickly — time saved is literally heart muscle saved and potential lives saved.”

Each minute a patient remains in ventricular fibrillation reduces their survival odds by up to 10 percent, noted Jackson. “EMS providers, first responders, King’s Daughters team members and other community partners are coordinating to ensure our citizens suffering sudden cardiac arrest are identified and treated as quickly as possible,” he said.

As a HeartSafe Community, Boyd County provides ready access to:
  • CPR training in the community;
  • Strategically placed automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in public areas for use by public safety professionals and other trained community members;
  • Early advanced care delivered by a response vehicle staffed by Advanced EMTs or Paramedics;
  • Advanced Life Support vehicles that provide 12-lead EKG machines; and
  • Plan/process to evaluate and improve the Chain of Survival
KDMC’s American Heart Association Regional CPR Training Center trains more than 8,000 individuals annually in a 20-county region of eastern Kentucky, southern Ohio and western West Virginia. The medical center has provided over 50 AEDs in the community as well as 24 12-lead EKG machines for EMS services that enable them to identify cardiac arrest patients sooner and alert the Medical Center in advance of their arrival.

Once patients reach a hospital emergency room, the American Heart Association recommends no more than 90 minutes elapse before a catheter is used to open up the blocked artery – also called door-to-balloon time. “At King’s Daughters, our average door-to-balloon time is 64 minutes, well under the 90-minute national recommendation,” Jackson said. “But we continue to strive to reduce the time even further.”

“We made these investments in the community beginning in 2006, and the results began paying off immediately,” said Jackson. “More people are surviving cardiac arrest today because they are receiving treatment quickly, from experts in the field and at King’s Daughters.”

“Our county has met stringent standards set by the state to achieve this designation,” said Boyd County judge executive Bud Stevens.  “We would like to thank all of our first responders, public safety professionals, emergency medical services providers, King's Daughters Medical Center, The Kentucky Heart Institute and other trained individuals who continue to work together to ensure our residents live in a HeartSafe Community."

PHOTO: Fred Jackson (King’s Daughters); Mary Fegenbush and Bonita Bobo (Kentucky Department of Public Health and Stroke Prevention Program); Bud Stevens (Boyd County judge executive); Regina Stout (Kentucky Heart Institute); Maria Hardy and Cathy Anderson (Ashland-Boyd County Health Department).

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Monday, May 20, 2013 3:26 AM
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