If you're having a heart attack, cardiologists say getting to the right hospital within 90 minutes is key for survival.
“If you are able
to open that artery within 90 minutes, the chances of that patient
having a good outcome is excellent,” interventional cardiologist Dr.
Vimal Nanavati said.
If you're having
the most serious kind of heart attack, called an ST elevation myocardial
infarction (STEMI), where your heart artery is completely blocked,
getting to a STEMI receiving center is critical.
“Every minute counts,” said Nanavati.
Diego County hospitals have STEMI receiving centers with catheterization
labs that can unclog the blocked arteries in a patient's heart.
has been a paramedic for over 10 years with San Diego Rural/Metro. He
said a contractual agreement between two local hospitals is making him
question the profession he loves.
"We became paramedics to take care of people," he said. "We're delaying their care. We're causing more damage to the heart."
referring to a 30-year cardiovascular partnership between Kaiser
Hospital in Grantville and Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla.
does not have a STEMI receiving center, so its STEMI patients are
transported to Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla for treatment.
Seven of the
county's 13 STEMI receiving centers are closer to Kaiser Hospital than
Scripps La Jolla, including Scripps Mercy, Alvarado, Sharp Memorial and
UCSD Medical Center. Naval Medical Center is also included in the 13
facilities and has a STEMI receiving center...