Certified Regional Heart Attack Treatment Center
Palmdale Regional Medical Center is one of 33 STEMI Receiving Centers in Los Angeles County that have been certified by the American Heart Association. STEMI stands for ST-elevation myocardial infarction, the technical term for a heart attack. In order to be certified as a STEMI Receiving Center, a cardiac catheterization laboratory must work toward the goal of providing treatment to a patient within 90 minutes after arrival.
Calls to 9-1-1 prompt a response from paramedics who are trained to identify an acute heart attack in the field. While in the field, emergency medical service technicians (EMTs) alert the cardiac team at a STEMI Receiving Center, such as Palmdale Regional Medical Center. This collaboration between the EMS and emergency room teams helps save lives.
Stopping Damage Quickly
Ranjiv S. Choudhary MD, cardiologist and the Director of the Cardiac Cath Lab at Palmdale Regional Medical Center Medical Center, underlines the importance of responding rapidly to heart attacks.
“The quicker the artery is opened, the less the damage to the heart muscle. At Palmdale Regional Medical Center, we pride ourselves on rapidly opening the blocked heart artery and improving the patient’s symptoms and outcome. Our cardiac catheterization lab staff is activated once a heart attack is suspected and is very motivated to help achieve the goal of opening the patient's blocked artery in less than 90 minutes and often achieve that goal much sooner. Having highly motivated and trained staff working together to reach these goals saves lives.”
Fully Equipped Facilities
Certified STEMI facilities are fully equipped to deliver emergency coronary care with maximum speed and efficiency. The term "ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction," the technical name for a heart attack, describes the EKG finding that confirms the presence of this emergency heart condition.
Cardiac Teams Informed Promptly
"It's very comforting to know that when paramedics alert Palmdale Regional Medical Center's Emergency Department that they are transporting a heart attack patient, all four-member cardiac teams also get the call," says Veronica Knudson, COO.
"This certification means that patients who experience heart attacks in our area can be brought here for immediate evaluation and advanced treatment," she adds.
Knudson recalls a patient who recently suffered a heart attack and was treated at Palmdale Regional Medical Center. "We had a 43-year-old heart-attack patient brought into the cath lab, and we were able to meet the 90-minute standard for opening the blocked artery without delay," she says."By treating heart attacks as rapidly as possible, we can limit heart damage in patients to the absolute minimum."
Learn more about cardiology at Palmdale Regional Medical Center.