A COBDEN man has thanked paramedics who treated him with a life-saving drug while he was having a heart attack.
Peter Harris, 70, is one of 95 people who have received blood-clot busting drugs since a state-wide rollout of the drug two years ago.
Mobile Intensive Care Ambulance paramedics in rural and regional Victoria started carrying the thrombolytic drugs in April 2014.
Ambulance Victoria emergency operations acting general manager Mick Stephenson said paramedics used the drugs on patients who were experiencing a heart attack caused by a blocked coronary artery.
“The drug is potentially life-saving. By opening up the artery it can reduce the amount of heart tissue damaged during the heart attack and improve the long-term health outcome for these patients,” Mr Stephenson said.
“We know that MICA paramedics in rural and regional Victoria carrying these drugs is making a real difference to our patients,” he said.
Mr Harris was at home in February when he felt pain in his chest before falling to the ground while doing manual labour at his home.
Mr Harris’s wife Lyn drove him to his general practitioner who called 000 and an Advanced Life Support paramedic and two Ambulance Community Officers attended the the GP clinic.
The paramedic and community officers started initial treatment before taking Mr Harris to the Terang Hospital, west of Colac, where MICA paramedic Heath Butler administered the drugs.
An air ambulance then flew Mr Harris to the Geelong Hospital.
Mr Harris said he was appreciative of the people who helped treat him.
“They were brilliant. The drugs saved my life, I can tell you that,” he said.
Mr Butler said Mr Harris was the first patient he had treated with the new drug.
“This is an example of a case where as a paramedic we can make a real difference to people’s lives and, in this case, being able to remove what was probably a life-threatening clot in Peter’s heart has meant he has been able to return to his life as normal,” he said.