The fine folks at St. Mary’s Regional Cardiac Care Centre and Waterloo Region Emergency Medical Service have set up a new system where an on-scene cardiogram can be sent to a BlackBerry at the hospital and lets the patient skip emergency and get right into the cardiac treatment area. In one instance, the new system beat the worldwide average for dealing with these kinds of medical emergencies by 13 minutes. When an artery’s blocked, every second can be a godsend.
“It’s such a critical time frame,” said Renner, one of four interventional cardiologists who do angioplasty at St. Mary’s. “You want to get the artery open as quickly as possible. It’s all about speed.” The longer the part of the heart that is affected by the blockage is deprived of a blood supply, the more damage to the heart muscle and the greater the risk to the patient’s survival and quality of life. A balloon-tipped catheter can clear the blockage and keep the artery open with the insertion of a wire stent. “We’ve had some cases where you essentially almost abort the heart attack and have almost no damage at all.”
This is the first program of its kind in Canada, so once its been proven to work, maybe we can see it adopted elsewhere. Thanks Hayden!