During a heart attack, fast treatment is crucial. Getting care immediately to remove a blockage can reduce damage to the heart muscle and may mean a better outcome.
To rapidly respond during a heart attack, HealthEast Heart Care has partnered with community emergency medical services (EMS) in a process called Level One.
Faster access to treatment
The Level One process reduces the amount of time between hospital arrival and angioplasty, the preferred treatment for a heart attack. At St. Joseph’s Hospital, the median Level One time to angioplasty is 56 minutes.
Angioplasty uses a tiny balloon which is inserted into a blood vessel and guided to the blocked area in the heart. When the balloon reaches the blockage, the tip is temporarily inflated to open the blockage and restore blood flow through the vessel.
HealthEast Heart Care was the first in the Twin Cities to offer "primary" angioplasty, the gold standard of care for heart attacks. This means that if you experience a heart attack, you will be treated with angioplasty instead of drugs called thrombolytics or "clot busters." St. Joseph's offers primary angioplasty around the clock.
Benefits of primary angioplasty include:
- Lower death rate from heart attack
- Lower rate of stroke
- Shorter hospital stays
Level One in action
Here's what happens if you are experiencing a heart attack:
- 911 is called and paramedics arrive.
- If a heart attack is suspected, paramedics will do an electrocardiogram or EKG at the scene.
- If you are having a heart attack, you will be asked where you want to be treated and transported to a hospital with a cath lab that performs angioplasty.
- Paramedics will call ahead to the hospital. When coming to St. Joseph's, HealthEast staff will be notified and waiting at the door.
- You will be admitted to the hospital for an angioplasty.
- After the angioplasty procedure to stop heart muscle damage, you will be admitted to the ICU and monitored closely by highly trained nurses and doctors.
About HealthEast Heart Care
HealthEast Heart Care is a leading provider of comprehensive heart care in the Upper Midwest. As a Top 100 Cardiovascular Hospital, St. Joseph's offers leading-edge technology and state-of-the-art treatment.
Our full range of services includes:
Heart Care is staffed by a dedicated and compassionate team of professionals who provide physical, spiritual and educational support to heal the body, mind and spirit.