Abbott Northwestern, United and HCMC are top performers in national heart study
MINNEAPOLIS and ST. PAUL, Minn. 05/20/2009--People in the Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota region who have the most deadly form of heart attack are more likely to have the fastest "door to balloon" times than anywhere in the United States.
Allina's Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis and United Hospital in St. Paul and Hennepin County Medical Center made up the top-ranking region in a study that analyzed the performances of regional STEMI networks. STEMI stands for ST-elevation myocardial infarction.
The national quality benchmark for the percentage of STEMI patients who are treated in less than 90 minutes is 75. The Twin Cities region performed at 97 percent. All 10 study networks performed at least at 86 percent.
"Since 2002, the Minneapolis Heart Institute has been creating a coordinated emergency network that links hospitals and paramedics throughout the Upper Midwest," said Kevin Graham, MD, cardiologist and president of the Minneapolis Heart Institute at Abbott Northwestern Hospital. "At the core of the program are educated paramedics who diagnose patients in the field and activate an emergency life-saving chain of events that delivers them to Abbott Northwestern."
STEMI involves the sudden blockage of one of the three big coronary arteries that supply blood to the heart. Rapid intervention with primary balloon angioplasty and stenting restores blood flow, saves heart muscle, and reduces the likelihood of death.
"Time is muscle, so anything we can do to get the patient's artery open and the heart muscle perfused in less than 90 minutes is a must. Evidence-based data says if we can do this the patient will have a better outcome," said Kenneth Baran, MD, CV Lab medical director at United Hospital and one of the study's authors.
"Multiple strategies were employed across our network to reduce the time needed to open an occluded artery, including paramedic activation of the cardiac catheterization team before the patient arrives at the hospital, and in some instances, taking the patient from the ambulance directly to the catheterization laboratory for emergency angioplasty, without stopping in the emergency department," Baran said.
Angioplasty is the best treatment for a STEMI heart attack, but it is only available in one out of five U.S. hospitals. Nationally, the researchers say fewer than 50 percent of STEMI patients are treated in less than 90 minutes.
The study was published in the April 2009 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology: Cardiology Interventions. For more information and to download a copy of the study, see the American College of Cardiology's announcement at www.acc.org.
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Cardiovascular disease specialists
Minneapolis Heart Institute at Abbott Northwestern Hospital
Heart United at United Hospital
Health news: Coordination has led to quicker heart treatment