Henry Ford EKG donations could save lives via phone lines

Photo by Andrea Poteet

Henry Ford Wyandotte Hospital Chairman and Medical Director Dr. Thomas McKeown shows off one of two 12-lead EKG machines the hospital recently donated to Wyandotte Fire Department. The hospital also donated machines to fire departments in Allen Park and Lincoln Park.

Sunday Times Newspapers

A donation to several area fire departments could help first responders save minutes and lives.

Henry Ford Wyandotte Hospital recently donated several 12-lead electrocardiogram machines to Wyandotte, Allen Park and Lincoln Park fire departments.

The machines, which the departments will begin using this week, transmit results of EKG screenings at emergency call sites back to hospital cardiology units through Smartphones instantly, Dr. Thomas McKeown, director of the hospital’s emergency department, said. They will replace older equipment.

“This is Star Wars stuff,” McKeown said. “What’s going to happen is, they are going to show up, they are going to hook it up to you, and then it’s going to go off to myself at the hospital. We’re going to be able to look at this in real-time and activate the teams.”

McKeown said the machines can help shave up to 20 minutes off of response time in emergencies.

“That’s the difference between a live heart and a dead heart,” he said.

Wyandotte Mayor Joseph Peterson thanked the hospital for its continued support of the fire department –they donated its first 12-league EKG machines about four years ago – and noted the recent donation’s benefit for residents.

“When someone is having a heart attack, every second is important,” Peterson said. “I’m very proud that Henry Ford again donated over $100,000 in equipment.”

Wyandotte and Lincoln Park each received two machines and Allen Park received one, for a total cost of more than $200,000 raised through the hospital’s auxiliary-staffed gift shop.

Allen Park Fire Chief Doug LaFond said the machine will improve response time by sending vital information to doctors quicker than the previous 12-lead machines, which used Bluetooth technology.

“These are wonderful machines,” LaFond said, “the greatest equipment out there.”

Wyandotte Fire Chief Michael McDonald said the donation helped provide technology that the city could have otherwise not obtained.

“This is really unexpected,” Wyandotte Fire Chief Michael McDonald said. “This is state of the art. It’s something we couldn’t have afforded and we’re really looking forward to getting them out there.”