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Program to coordinate regional systems to speed heart attack care
Date:5/11/2012

DURHAM, N.C. Competing cardiac care teams in some of the nation's most populated areas will start working together to markedly reduce the time from heart attack to treatment as part of a new program designed by cardiologists at Duke University Medical Center.

The Duke team, along with the American Heart Association (AHA), will kick-off the Regional Systems of Care Demonstration Project Mission: Lifeline STEMI Systems Accelerator program today at the Annual Emergency Cardiovascular Care Conference in Atlanta. Leaders from the 20 regions targeted for the demonstration project, including New York City, Philadelphia, Detroit, San Antonio and Phoenix, will be involved.

"The training program brings together representatives of the entire chain of care, from emergency medical response to opening closed arteries with a catheterization balloon procedure," says Christopher Granger, M.D., a Duke cardiologist and chairman of the American Heart Association's Mission: Lifeline STEMI advisory working group.

"Time delay is the enemy when it comes to salvaging the heart muscle and saving lives," Granger said. "The goal is to develop coordinated, regional systems of care that start when the 911 call comes in, include the care patients receive in the ambulance, and the treatment they undergo at hospitals to restore blood flow in blocked heart arteries."

Four times more Americans die from heart attack than from motor vehicle accidents, according to James Jollis, M.D., a Duke cardiologist who is spearheading the program with Granger and the AHA. "Traditionally, ambulances transport patients with chest pain to hospital emergency departments and rely on hospitals to diagnose and treat heart attacks. This long-established approach includes a goal of 90 minutes from hospital door to coronary artery device time."

In recent years, a new standard evolved and is now supported by national guidelines. It calls for paramedics to diagnose hear
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Contact: Debbe Geiger
debbe.geiger@duke.edu
919-660-9461
Duke University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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