At PinnacleHealth we take chest pain very seriously. Our doctors, nurses and technicians are specially trained to work as a team for quick evaluation and treatment of patients experiencing chest pain. Patients are immediately assessed and given the treatment they need. Heart attack patients are fast-tracked to life-saving care through Code STEMI, PinnacleHealth’s heart attack protocol.
Patients with chest pain who aren’t having a heart attack may be asked to stay for further evaluation and may be monitored on an outpatient basis. Others may be admitted or discharged for appropriate follow-up treatment at any time during the evaluation period.
When you're having a heart attack, every minute counts. That's why PinnacleHealth initiated the Code STEMI process to help patients experiencing heart attacks to receive treatment in the Cardiac Catheterization Lab as quickly as possible. The Code STEMI protocol activates the staff members involved in evaluating and treating heart attack patients, with the goal of reducing the amount of time it takes to get them from the door of the Harrisburg Hospital or West Shore Hospital Emergency Department to the Cardiac Catheterization Lab.
Code STEMI involves the PinnacleHealth CardioVascular Institute, Emergency Department, and Department of Nurses. When a patient arrives in the emergency room with symptoms of a heart attack, he or she immediately receives an electrocardiogram to confirm the diagnosis of a heart attack, also known as an ST-elevated myocardial infarction (STEMI).
The Emergency Department immediately activates the Code STEMI, notifying the cardiac catheterization team, the on-call cardiologist and the Cardiac Care Unit to expect a patient and prepare to begin treatment. Patients are then taken to the Cardiac Catheterization Lab, where the team can perform an angioplasty, a procedure in which a balloon-tipped catheter is inserted through an artery in the groin and guided through the artery to the site of the blockage. Once in place, the balloon is inflated to remove the clot causing the heart attack, restoring normal blood flow.
On average, PinnacleHealth patients have a “door-to-balloon” time of approximately 63 minutes, significantly lower than the 90-minute timeframe specified by the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association. Research has shown that the sooner the artery is opened, the better the patient's chance of surviving heart attack. Code STEMI is just one way PinnacleHealth is reducing the door-to-balloon time to benefit patients.
If you experience heart attack symptoms, call 911 immediately and ask to be taken to PinnacleHealth's Harrisburg Hospital or West Shore Hospital.
PinnacleHealth’s Cardiac Transfer Care Center
PinnacleHealth’s Cardiac Transfer Center (CTC) quickly expedites transfer of patients with acute myocardial infarction and other cardiac and lung/thoracic conditions to PinnacleHealth’s Harrisburg Campus.
The Cardiac Transfer Center:
Is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
Dispatches helicopter transport, if needed
Establishes a bed for patients
Arranges for the transferring physician to speak with the cardiac surgeon or cardiologist, if desired
Offers an easy, toll-free hotline number: 1-877-432-7877