Getting patients experiencing the most severe type of heart attack (STEMI), to intervention quickly is crucial to saving heart muscle. The national benchmark for this life-saving intervention is 90 minutes – from the time a patient makes contact with the paramedics to the time their blockage has been removed. At NHRMC, the average time to intervention is 42 minutes.
At New Hanover Regional Medical Center, we strive to continually find ways of cutting heart attack treatment times to give patients the best chance at a full recovery. The Code STEMI program is at the center of this mission. STEMI stands for ST Segment Elevation Myocardial Infarction. Myocardial infarction, or MI, is the clinical term for heart attacks.
NHRMC Heart Center works in collaboration with hospitals and paramedics around the region to perform EKGs, recognize a STEMI and immediately activate the Code STEMI protocol. By doing so, they set in motion a series of steps at NHRMC. Cardiac and Emergency teams are activated, the catheterization labs are prepared, and the equipment is ready for the patient to be moved to treatment on their arrival.
In September of 2013, NHRMC was awarded the AHA Mission Lifeline Gold Award. Only 50 hospitals in the country were recognized with this award.
"This is the highest award given for STEMI care. The criteria to achieve Mission Lifeline Gold recognition are stringent, and your success is due to the daily efforts of all physicians and staff who take care of STEMI patients," said Keith T. Everett, Vice President of Quality and Systems Improvement for the Mid Atlantic Affiliate of the American Heart Association.
“On behalf of NHRMC and all regional STEMI providers, we want to thank the American Heart Association for this award,” said Barto.
"Since 2008 when this program began at NHRMC, almost 2,000 patients from across the region have benefited from the STEMI protocol. STEMI patients need immediate life saving care, and the RACE & Code STEMI program ensures that these patients get the fastest care possible."