Harris Methodist Walls Regional Uses Established Protocol to Treat Heart Attack Patients|
CLEBURNE, Texas – During a heart attack, time is muscle.
The more time you lose, the more heart muscle you lose. The race against the clock is even more of a factor for patients who live in rural areas and may not have immediate access to a tertiary care facility. Now, patients who live in Cleburne and the surrounding area may have a new source of hope.
Over the past year, Harris Methodist Walls Regional Hospital (HMWR) has partnered with the Harris Methodist Heart Center at Harris Methodist Fort Worth Hospital to develop a ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) protocol. It allows patients who are experiencing symptoms of a heart attack to be evaluated, and, if necessary, transferred by air ambulance to the Harris Methodist Heart Center for immediate intervention in the cardiac catheterization lab.
“When patients are experiencing a heart attack the closest hospital is the best one to go to,” said Dr. David Parrish, cardiologist with Consultants in Cardiology, an independent physician group. “STEMI protocol ensures that patients receive high-quality treatment and evaluation without driving to a larger facility.”
The steps of the STEMI protocol include:*
* - Many of these steps are happening concurrently
“It is a race against the clock, because heart muscle is dying during the time it takes you to re-establish blood flow,” said Sreenivas Gudimetla, medical director of the Harris Methodist Heart Center. “If you can get patients to the cath lab quickly, research shows that opening a blocked artery mechanically is better than clot-dissolving medications, also known as thrombolytic therapy. However, getting patients to the cath lab fast enough is not easy to do. This streamlined protocol attempts to address that problem.”
Since the protocol began, 11 Harris Methodist Walls Regional Hospital patients have been treated.
“As part of the Texas Health Resources system, Harris Methodist Walls Regional Hospital patients can draw on the broader resources of the nonprofit health system,” HMWR President Blake Kretz said. “Harris Methodist Walls Regional Hospital patients can visit their local hospital and receive top-notch care.”
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