The Cardiology Department, in association with the Emergency department, has developed the Code STEMI (SegmenT Elevation Myocardial Infarction - STEMI) process to treat all heart attack patients within in the first 90 minutes of an attack. Myocardial infarction, or MI, is the clinical term for heart attacks.
“The system allows the Emergency department and the Cardiology department to diagnose and treat patients showing symptoms of a heart attack within the first hour they arrive in the Emergency department,” said Kristine Green, RN, Clinical Manager of Interventional Cardiology at Banner Estrella.
For any patient arriving with symptoms of a heart attack, Emergency physicians order an Electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG) within minutes. An EKG can detect signs of poor blood flow, heart muscle damage, abnormal heartbeats and other heart problems.
If a heart attack is diagnosed, the Code STEMI is activated, with on-call cardiologist and the specially-trained cardiac catheterization team called in for emergency treatment such as primary angioplasty, thrombolytic therapy or even emergency bypass surgery.