Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre (TBRHSC) in collaboration with local EMS services was awarded top marks in Ontario for their outstanding work in the areas of ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction (STEMI) care. The honours were handed out by CorHealth Ontario, the overseeing body for cardiac, stroke and vascular care in the province.
The STEMI Program is comprised of first responders, paramedics, emergency department physicians and nurses, interventional cardiologists, cardiac catheterization lab nurses and administrators. The system has to flow for the patients to receive exceptional care during their heart attack.
“Thunder Bay is leading the way when it comes to patient care and we are the best in Ontario due to the hard work, dedication and amazing talents that we have in our region,” said Dr. Rhonda Crocker-Ellacott, TBRHSC’s President & Chief Executive Officer. “Teamwork and a strong respect between Hospital staff and EMS ensures our patients are getting the highest quality care, and the fastest across all of Ontario. This recognition is all theirs.”
TBRHSC is the only PCI (Percutaneous Coronary Intervention) capable hospital in Northwestern Ontario that can treat a patient’s heart through angioplasty. Angioplasty is a specialized procedure performed by a specialist called an interventional cardiologist, to open up a coronary artery which is narrowed due to plaque build-up. The procedure will widen blocked or partially blocked arteries, usually with a balloon. In most cases, one or more stents are used to help support the artery.
“When our patients call 911, the goal is time; the faster a cardiac event is discovered on an ECG, the better the treatment outcome,” said Meaghan Sharp, Director, Cardiovascular Sciences and Chief Nursing Executive, TBRHSC. “Our patients receive care from a paramedic and in many cases have a first responder as their first medical contact due to our geography. Once the paramedics are with the patient, they are able to perform a 12-lead ECG to determine the severity of the heart attack – activating Code STEMI protocols.”
The Code STEMI program links Superior North Emergency Medical Services paramedics and an interventional cardiologist within the Thunder Bay District 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.