PANAMA CITY, Fla. - You may know someone who has suffered a STEMI, a very serious type of heart attack. From the moment a person reaches the hospital, each second is crucial in saving the patient.
News 13 got an inside look at exactly what happens from that moment to prepping them for surgery.
The clock is started before the patient even arrives.
"Time is muscle, time is heart," Dr. Joshua James, an emergency medicine physician, said.
EMS officials preemptively alert the hospital if they suspect a patient could be suffering a STEMI, when one of the heart's major arteries is blocked.
"We have our team of nurses that are ready. We have our techs that are ready to get them on the monitor, [and] respiratory therapy ready if they needed any airway intervention," he said.
"The longer that particular part of the heart muscle goes without blood flow, the worse the outcome can be," Dr. James said.
The patient's rushed to a trauma room where they receive an initial assessment.
"Are they awake and talking, are they breathing. [We're] getting a good blood pressure on them," James said.
Looking at an EKG, or Electrocardiogram, shows the electrical activity of the heart, and sometimes evidence of a past heart attack.
The goal in the trauma room is to get the patient up to surgery.
"They're not in here for a matter of minutes before they're upstairs," Dr. James said.
Next week on health desk, you'll see, first hand, how a heart attack patient is treated.
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