St. Joseph’s Hospital-North Begins Treating Patients Suffering from the Most Deadly Type of Heart Attack

Residents of Lutz and the surrounding community who are suffering from a STEMI (ST elevated myocardial infarction), one of the most deadly types of heart attack, can now be treated close to home. St. Joseph’s Hospital-North launched their STEMI program on August 25, which means it’s licensed and has a STEMI team on hand 24 hours a day, seven days a week.   

According to the American Heart Association, approximately 250,000 Americans suffer a STEMI each year. A STEMI occurs when there is prolonged blockage of blood supply to the heart. The optimal treatment method is PCI (percutaneous coronary intervention) to open the artery within 90 minutes of first receiving care by emergency medical personnel. Since time is muscle, patients suffering a STEMI are taken to the closest hospital that can treat patients suffering from this type of heart attack.

In that past, that meant bypassing St. Joseph’s Hospital-North or transferring patients by ambulance or helicopter. Treating STEMI patients at St. Joseph’s Hospital-North means faster care for patients in a situation where minutes matter.

Kathy Myers, St. Joseph’s Hospital-North Director of Operations, says, “Expanding services to the community is a multi-department collaboration and the team is excited. Offering STEMI treatment is a great thing for the community because it keeps patients local and allows them to receive faster treatment.”

The St. Joseph’s Hospital-North STEMI team consists of 16 people. All team members who work in the Cath lab need at least 500 hours of experience in a facility that does open-heart surgery and many received training at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tampa and Morton Plant Hospital in Clearwater.

On average St. Joseph’s Hospital-North estimates they will treat about two STEMI cases a week as the program ramps up. St. Joseph’s Hospital-North is one of six BayCare facilities that can treat STEMI patients.

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