Four Litchfield County EMS departments recently received a gift of technology that facilitates diagnosis and treatment of cardiac patients before they arrive at the emergency department.

The donations are from two New Milford Hospital donors.

At a presentation ceremony at the hospital in December, representatives from EMS departments in Bridgewater, Sherman, Warren and Washington received a state-of-the-art LifePak 12 defibrillator/monitor that functions as an automated external defibrillator and also facilitates pre-hospital monitoring and transmission of patient electrocardiogram data from ambulances to hospital emergency departments.

Dr. Carl D’Andrea, New Milford Hospital’s director of emergency medicine, described the impact of the new equipment as life-saving.

“When someone suffers a heart attack, every second counts,” said D’Andrea. “The more time passes, the greater the risk. Because EMTs are often first on the scene, making sure local EMS personnel have the tools needed to save lives is a priority for New Milford Hospital.”

Until recently, EMS providers lacked a fast, consistent method for transmitting high-quality 12-lead EKGs to hospitals.

Wireless transmission of EKG data, however, can save treatment time by allowing emergency room physicians to review clinical information, make treatment decisions, and prepare for treatment before a patient arrives at the hospital.

“We are profoundly grateful to our donors for their incredible generosity,” said Grace Linhard, chief development officer of the New Milford Hospital Foundation.

“Philanthropy helps New Milford Hospital ensure that our community has access to the latest in lifesaving technology, programs and services,” Linhard said.