Level One Heart Attack Program
ST elevation myocardial infarction
A team effort by Med Flight and UW Hospital's Heart Attack Team staff will expedite transfer of patients experiencing a STEMI heart attack to UW Hospital. This Level One heart attack care is just a hotline away.
UW Health's regional cardiac care program has adopted the concept of the golden hour, and referring physicians can activate the airmedical transfer system early in communication.
24-Hour Hotline: 1-877-MI2-UWHC for ST Elevation
As soon as a patient is identified to have ST elevation myocardial infarction, emergency departments can call 1-877-MI2-UWHC, a 24-hour hotline in UW Hospital's Access Center. The call immediately activates Med Flight and UW Hospital's cardiac catheterization lab to prepare for the patient.
The activation is similar to Med Flight's rapid response to a trauma scene. Flight physicians and staff don't necessarily know all of the specifics about the patient but they realize the importance of quick action to the patient's health.
Simply put, time is myocardium. By minimizing transfer time, more patients are eligible for primary angioplasty, a strategy that has been shown to reduce major complications and death from STEMI if performed in a timely manner. Even those patients who have received thrombolytics benefit from the rapid transport model, as many require rescue angioplasty.
Referring Emergency Departments
Knowing that the patient will be transferred, referring EDs prepare the patient for rapid transport. By using pharmacotherapy strategies that minimize IV infusions, airmedical ground times can be further reduced. Once the patient is en route to UW Hospital, the referring ED faxes critical information to the UW's cardiac cath lab so staff can further prepare for the patient's arrival.
Modeled after a heart attack response program developed by Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis, this Level One protocol saves critical time, with a goal of getting patients the most effective care within 90 minutes, the "golden window" recommended jointly by the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology to preserve heart function.
Emergency Department Partnerships
When referring ED physicians call the general Access Center phone number, when referring a heart patient, the first questions asked is whether the patient has ST elevation. If the answer is "yes," UW's Level One heart attack protocol begins. According to studies in Europe, Level One heart attack protocols reduce rates of death, recurrent heart attack, or disabling stroke for patients who are transferred faster for angioplasty.
Video: Critical Care in the Golden Hour