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Heart Attack Victims To Get Re-Routed To Providence

Los Angeles County Emergency Medical Services has designated Providence Holy Cross MedicalCenter as one of 12 specialty centers for acute heart attack patients.

To receive this designation, emergency physicians, cardiologists and clinicians work directly with paramedics in the field as paramedics relay EKG readings showing that a patient is suffering a specific heart attack, known as a STEMI (ST-elevated myocardial infarction), that can permanently damage heart muscle without early intervention.

“As the northernmost STEMI Receiving Center in Los Angeles County, we are prepared to provide early intervention to heart attack patients in the Santa Clarita and North San Fernando Valleys,” said Ara Tilkian, M.D., Medical Director of the STEMI Receiving Center at Providence Holy Cross Medical Center.  “Our collaboration with paramedics in the field is vital in ensuring that these patients’ lives are saved.”

            Paramedics now are required to bypass non-designated hospitals and take a heart attack victim to a designated STEMI receiving center, if that hospital is within a 30-minute drive, to ensure a quick intervention to save the patient’s life and to reduce damage to the patient’s heart muscle.

            Under this new designation, all STEMI heart attack patients in Santa Clarita taken by ambulance are now taken to Providence Holy Cross Medical Center.  Before 2007, these patients often were taken to another facility first before being transported to Providence Holy Cross Medical Center, which caused further delays in providing early intervention to open the patient’s artery using angioplasty and thereby preserving heart muscle.

            “Time is heart muscle,’ said Michael Sarti, M.D., Medical Director of the Providence Holy Cross Emergency Department. “STEMI Receiving Centers help to reduce mortality and morbidity among Los Angeles County residents suffering from this severe form of heart attack by providing quick intervention