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Trinity Mother Frances
Neuroscience Institute

Heart Attack (CODE STEMI Protocol)

Studies have shown the most crucial element affecting the survival of patients having a heart attack is how quickly the arteries of the heart are re-opened. The time between emergency transport of an acute heart attack patient and a life-saving heart catheterization to open up the blockage is critical. This block of time is known as “door-to-balloon.”

According to the American College of Cardiology (ACC), 90 minutes is the critical time threshold for patients. In 2006 the ACC launched a national door-to-balloon quality improvement initiative. Trinity Mother Frances Hospitals and Clinics was the first hospital in the entire region to implement the Code STEMI protocol in 2006 and participate in this life-saving quality improvement effort.

The streamlined Code STEMI processes implemented at Louis & Peaches Owen Heart Hospital shorten the time required to open the affected artery during a heart attack. Particular attention is paid to minimizing the steps between diagnosing the heart attack and getting the patient to the catheterization lab for the procedure. Since 2006, Code STEMI has reduced transport to treatment time of acute heart attack victims from greater than 135 minutes to less than 60 minutes--far better than national standards.

How does Code STEMI work?

The Code STEMI initiative includes a collaborative effort among outlying hospitals, Champion Emergency Medical Services ambulances, Trinity Mother Frances Flight For Life air ambulance and the Emergency Care Center at Mother Frances Hospital.

Champion EMS ambulances and Flight For Life helicopters are equipped with electrocardiogram devices to monitor the heart. When EMS or a hospital in the Trinity Mother Frances Code STEMI program network has an acute heart attack patient, an EKG is transmitted to Mother Frances Emergency Care Center. Physicians use the EKG and communication with paramedics to diagnose the problem and mobilize the Cardiac Team. The heart attack victim bypasses the Emergency Care Center and goes straight to the cath lab in the Louis & Peaches Owen Heart Hospital where the staff is activated and awaiting the patient’s arrival.

When it comes to surviving a heart attack, every second counts. That’s why it’s so important to put your heart in the right hands. At the Louis & Peaches Owen Heart Hospital we take your health to heart.

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