Residents of Lutz and the surrounding community who are suffering from a STEMI (ST elevated myocardial infarction), one of the most deadly types of heart attack, now have a new option for treatment. St. Joseph’s Hospital-North launched their STEMI program on August 25, joining just 25% of the licensed hospitals in the United States equipped to receive and treat patients suffering from a STEMI.
According to the American Heart Association, approximately 250,000 Americans suffer a STEMI each year. A STEMI occurs when there is prolonged blockage of blood supply to the heart. The optimal treatment method is PCI (percutaneous coronary intervention) to open the artery within 90 minutes of first receiving care by emergency medical personnel. Since time is muscle, patients suffering a STEMI are taken to the closest hospital that can treat patients suffering from this type of heart attack.
In that past, that meant bypassing St. Joseph’s Hospital-North or transferring patients by ambulance or helicopter. Treating STEMI patients at St. Joseph’s Hospital-North means faster care for patients in a situation where minutes matter.
Kathy Myers, St. Joseph’s Hospital-North Director of Operations, says, “Expanding services to the community is a multi-department collaboration and the team is excited. Offering STEMI treatment is a great thing for the community because it keeps patients close to home and allows them to receive faster treatment.”
The St. Joseph’s Hospital-North STEMI program consists of 16 people and runs 24 hours a day, seven days a week. All team members who work in the Catheterization lab need at least 500 hours of experience in a facility that does open-heart surgery and many received training at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tampa.
On average St. Joseph’s Hospital-North estimates they will treat about two STEMI cases a week as the program ramps up. St. Joseph’s Hospital-North is one of six BayCare facilities that can treat STEMI patients.