Friday, September 18, 2009

Heart attack program expanded (Ottawa)

"Patients who have major heart attacks in outlying parts of Eastern Ontario now have a better chance at survival thanks to an expanded University of Ottawa Heart Institute program. Heralded as a pioneering model in North America, the STEMI program now includes 16 regional and community hospitals, giving patients from Deep River to Hawkesbury a better chance at surviving a serious heart attack. The newly expanded program builds on a 50% drop in death rates five years after the Heart Institute changed the treatment for major heart attack victims. Since 2004, patients with life-threatening heart attacks are transferred from Ottawa hospitals or by paramedics to the Heart Institute's angioplasty lab to get a balloon stent to open up a blocked artery. Under the STEMI program, paramedics can get patients to a catheter lab within 65 minutes, said Dr. Michel Le May, director of the coronary care unit at the Heart Institute. The fast track to state-of-the-art cardiac care is now expanded to a 200-km radius of the cardiac centre, with staff at smaller community hospitals trained with new standards and treatments for major heart attacks, said Le May" - Sun

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