Palma.—Doctors at Son Espases hospital in Palma can now receive images of electrocardiograms on their mobile phones, sent by paramedics from specially equipped ambulances.

Such information sent in advance allows the medical centre to make necessary preparations in advance should the patient show early signs of a heart attack.

Son Espases is the only hospital in Spain which has this pioneering technology of on-line cardiograms available to it, a hospital spokesman said ahead of World Heart Day being celebrated tomorrow.

Miquel Fiol, the head of the Coronary Unit at SonEspases said that the system is a vital link for those who are bringing a patient into the hospital for treatment and the medical teams awaiting the arrival of the ambulance.

Armando Bethencourt, Head of Cardiology at Son Espases said that the diagnosis of the on-line electrocardiogram means that the patient can be taken straight to a ready prepared theatre. It also means that once having viewed the electrocardiogram doctors at the hospital can give advice to the paramedics still with the patient in the ambulance on its way to the hospital.

Reducing costs and saving lives
Bethencourt also said that whilst saving lives is the most important challenge to all medical teams, whether at the hospital or in the ambulances, the pioneering technology also helps save money in the long run if mortality rates are kept low. If complications following a heart attack are kept to a minimum, hospital stays and the necessity for intensive care are thus shortened. Apart from facilitating the sending of vital information on-line, the system will allow 200 electrocardiograms a day to be filed electronically and if necessary sent to any other of the hospitals on the so-called “Heart Code” network.