Help is on the way
Minnesota’s first mobile emergency department is hitting the road to help people who have suffered cardiac arrest away from the hospital
People who suffer cardiac arrest—when the heart unexpectedly stops beating—need medical attention fast. Really fast. In fact, it’s among the most time-sensitive emergencies in all of medicine, and if victims aren’t in a hospital’s specialized cardiac catheterization lab within an hour, they probably won’t survive. That’s why nearly 90% of people who experience cardiac arrest today will die.
The University of Minnesota Medical School’s Demetri Yannopoulos, M.D., has an idea to budge that grim statistic in a positive direction: Bring the “hospital” to the person. (Read a Q&A with Yannopoulos.)
With support from the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, M Health Fairview and three other Minnesota health care systems have teamed up to create the state’s first mobile emergency department, carrying the experts and advanced tools needed to provide the critical first stages of care for people who have suffered cardiac arrest away from a hospital.
Later this year, the truck will hit the road. Twice as long as a normal ambulance and about two feet longer than a city bus, this mobile emergency department is designed to allow experts to administer specialized care inside the vehicle itself, giving them more time to begin treatment—and giving the patient a much better chance of survival.
Find out how your gift can support this work by contacting Michelle Boe of the University of Minnesota Foundation at 612-625-9903 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
SUV-sized versions of the mobile emergency department were deployed in December. These vehicles carry specialized equipment and an interventional cardiologist to the nearest participating emergency department to provide lifesaving care for the person in cardiac arrest.
“It’s redefining what emergency care looks like,” says Yannopoulos, who holds the Robert K. Eddy Endowed Chair in Cardiovascular Resuscitation. “If we can reach patients faster, we can save more lives.”
Take a look inside.
ILLUSTRATION BY LISA HAINES