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VCU Pauley Heart Center

Emergency cardiac care

People working togetherWhen a STEMI strikes, every minute counts. A STEMI (ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction) is an acute heart attack caused by a blockage of one of the three coronary arteries that supply blood to the heart. The sooner a blocked artery is opened, the less damage there is to the heart and the better the patient’s prognosis. Time is muscle for heart attack victims.

The national goal is a door-to-balloon (D2B) time—the interval from when the patient enters the hospital to when the artery is opened using an angioplasty procedure—is 90 minutes. We are far surpassing that goal, with a recent 12-month average D2B time of 57 minutes.

Our program’s success is the result of a highly coordinated team effort of community Emergency Medical Services (both land and air), our Emergency Department and our Cardiac Catheterization Lab. In many instances, EMS responders can trigger a Cardiac Alpha alert from the ambulance, mobilizing our ED and Cath Lab teams so that they are ready when the patient arrives, and cutting valuable minutes from the D2B time.

We continually monitor and analyze our program for training opportunities, speed, efficiency and safety to ensure that when seconds count, our program is second to none.

 

 

Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center
School of Medicine
VCU Health Pauley Heart Center
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