October 23 2009 - TMF Marks Three Years Of Code Stemi

For Immediate Release

October 23, 2009

Contact: John Moore
Media Relations
(903) 531-4542


Protocol Reduces Time From Transport To Treatment For Many Heart Attack Patients

TYLER, TX – Thursday, members of the Trinity Mother Frances Heart Institute and invited cardiac patients celebrated three years of the Code STEMI program at Mother Frances Hospital. Mother Frances was the first heart program in Tyler to implement Code STEMI (ST-segment Elevation Myocardial Infarction), which is designed to minimize the time between emergency transport of an acute heart attack patient and a life-saving heart catheterization with balloon angioplasty. STEMI refers to the method for using an EKG device to diagnose an acute heart attack.

To best utilize the vital minutes during transport, Code STEMI was implemented at Mother Frances in February of 2006. Since that time, heart attack patients transported to Mother Frances Hospital have benefited from significant reductions in time between the onset of the cardiac event and the administration of lifesaving balloon angioplasty therapy.

“The phrase 'time is muscle' is very true when it comes to treating a patient who is having a heart attack," said Roderick B. Meese, MD, Associate Chief of Cardiology and Medical Director of the catheterization lab at Trinity Mother Frances Hospitals and Clinics and cardiologist with Tyler Cardiovascular Consultants. "Once the emergency room physician has determined a patient is heaving a heart attack, he or she can immediately activate the Code STEMI process without direct involvement of the cardiologist. Treatment can include a stent, angioplasty or other procedure, but the important thing is to identify what is happening, initiate appropriate treatment during transport and have the proper heart team ready when the patient arrives. The Code STEMI workgroup constantly evaluates this process, and over a three-year period has helped to achieve dramatic decreases in the time from patient presentation to achieving effective PTCA (percutaneous transluminal cornary angioplasty). It has been shown that decreasing door-to-balloon time by 60 minutes can decrease a given patient's mortality by 50 percent. We felt it was important to celebrate this improvement with recognition for staff and our affected patients.”

After suffering his first heart attack 13 years ago, Noel Parker, 86, of Tyler suffered another cardiac event in May and was treated by Code STEMI protocol. "I was walking in the mall and I made it halfway around my walk," said Parker. "We went to the emergency room at Mother Frances Hospital and they told me I had had a heart attack. They did three stents and as far as I know, they've been successful. I think it was very good care at the hospital. The people were very considerate. They made me comfortable and calm. The approach was to make me feel better and at ease, and I like that approach."

Mother Frances Hospital-Tyler offers some of the most advanced cardiac technology in the world, including minimally-invasive heart surgery using the da Vinci Robotic System. For more information on services available through Trinity Mother Frances visit tmfhc.org.

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