Code STEMI: ST-segment Elevation Myocardial Infarction (STEMI)
At the Chest Pain Center of the GHS, we cut to the chase. We put a special cardiac team in place to be prepared, stats in hand, to meet you at the door if you’re suddenly suffering from Acute Coronary Syndrome or Acute Myocardial Infarction – better known as a heart attack.
How does Code STEMI work?
You’ve called 911 because you’re experiencing chest pains and having difficulty breathing. The emergency technician has arrived at your house and almost instantly, he’s reading your EKG and faxing it to a GHS Emergency Department.
An emergency physician is standing by, analyzing your results along side a cardiologist. The physician team reviews your stats and puts a plan into action – before you even arrive at the hospital. If a heart attack or ACS is diagnosed, the Code STEMI Response Team immediately prepares for the appropriate primary angioplasty, thrombolytic therapy or even emergency bypass surgery.
There is a STEMI response team on call 24 / 7 – so you don’t have to wait for treatment. The time saved using the Code STEMI response team leads to more lives saved and better chances of recovery. So remember, the three numbers and three letters that could save your life – 911 & GHS.
TAVR (Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement)
What is TAVR?
This minimally invasive procedure allows cardiologists and cardiac surgeons to implant a prosthetic aortic valve through a catheter placed in the femoral artery, much in the same way a cardiac catheterization is performed. The TAVR procedure can be performed through three different approaches – transfemoral (through an incision in the leg) or transapical (through an incision in the chest between the ribs) and transaortic. TAVR provides a treatment option for patients with severe, symptomatic aortic stenosis who have been determined by a heart team to be at intermediate risk for open-heart surgery.
How do I know if TAVR is right for me?
TAVR is not right for everyone; in certain cases, the risk of the procedure outweighs the benefits. However, any patient diagnosed with aortic stenosis is encouraged to be referred to this program for assessment as a TAVR candidate.
What are the benefits of TAVR?
Because TAVR does not require open-heart surgery and, in most cases, patients do not need their heart stopped for the procedure, those who qualify may reap significant benefits. Typical benefits include the following:
- Fewer days in the ICU and shorter hospital stays
- Earlier return to normal activities
- Less blood loss than with traditional surgical valve replacement
What is the TAVR program?
The TAVR program is a true multidisciplinary effort, with patients seen and evaluated by cardiac surgeons, interventional cardiologists, and imaging cardiologists in the GHS Valve Center. Carefully selected patients then undergo the TAVR procedure with cardiac surgeons and cardiologists working side by side in a state of the art, Hybrid Operating Room/Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory at GHS. The TAVR program had a coordinator who guides the patient through the evaluation process from beginning to post operative visit assuring communication among the TAVR multidisciplinary team.
Why should you have your TAVR at GHS?
The cornerstone of this effort is our state-of-the-art hybrid catheterization laboratory/operating room, in which the full complement of catheter-based and surgical procedures may be performed. We believe our close working relationship between cardiologists and cardiothoracic surgeons is unique among tertiary heart centers. Patients with complex valvular heart disease are discussed at a weekly conference where optimal, individualized treatments plans are developed. At least one cardiologist and one cardiothoracic surgeon are scrubbed for the entirety of each TAVR case.
The benefits of TAVR include a highly significant improvement in quality of life and reduced mortality in patients who are “inoperable.” Additionally, TAVR performs at least as well as surgical atrial valve replacement (AVR) in “high risk” patients, offering a less invasive option with similar mortality and symptom improvement. Importantly, the hemodynamic performance of the prosthetic aortic valve following TAVR is excellent out to 3 years.