For Immediate Release
May 27, 2011
Getting to the Heart of the Matter
HDGH and Essex-Windsor EMS celebrate results of primary PCI program
(Windsor, ON) Today, Hôtel-Dieu Grace Hospital celebrated the success of its primary PCI program, which provides our community with quick access to life-saving, emergency angioplasties.
PCI, or percutaneous coronary intervention, is an emergency angioplasty procedure whereby a catheter containing a small balloon is inserted into arteries around the heart to compress blockages and restore blood flow.
Since the official January 6th launch of the HDGH primary PCI program, 22 patients went from arrival in hospital to “balloon time” on a cardiac catheterization lab table in 62 minutes – well within a pre-established 90-minute target.
“We are extremely proud of our success to date at providing this life-saving treatment for cardiac patients right here in Windsor,” said Lora Piccinin, manager of the HDGH Cardiac Cath Lab. “We are also proud of the incredible work by Essex-Windsor EMS paramedics to recognize which patients require this procedure before they even arrive at the hospital.”
However, the results of the primary PCI data revealed concerns that some patients travel on their own for medical treatment when they believe they may be suffering a heart attack. Without the help of paramedics, patients can put their safety at risk and also lose critical treatment and potential diagnosis before arriving in a hospital.
“It’s vital that individuals suffering chest pains immediately call 911. Paramedics provide safe transport for patients and can immediately provide oxygen, medication and other symptom relief methods en route to hospital,” said Dr. Paul Bradford, an HDGH emergency room physician and base hospital medical director.
Data collected on emergency angioplasty cases by a local primary PCI Working Group, which includes representation by all three local hospitals and Essex-Windsor EMS, showed it took an average 25 minutes longer for patients to get on a cath lab table if they arrived at hospital by themselves, rather than by ambulance. Paramedics are trained to provide rapid assessments, including an immediate ECG (electrocardiograph), to diagnose whether an emergency angioplasty is required at HDGH.
“Essex-Windsor EMS paramedics are highly skilled and are trained to determine what level of emergency care patients will require in hospital. It is essential that we remind the community to let our paramedics assess and treat individuals as quickly as possible,” said Essex-Windsor EMS Chief Randy Mellow.
Not every case involving a cardiac concern requires this emergency procedure – of an estimated 10,000 patients who suffer chest pains locally each year, only about 250 would be candidates for a primary PCI. All local hospitals are equipped to provide critical cardiac services, but none of them have the capacity to treat every cardiac case. However, the primary PCI Working Group recently agreed to a new protocol whereby patients determined to be strong candidates for a primary PCI are transported directly to HDGH.
The program at HDGH continues to operate on a weekday schedule from early morning until early evening. The HDGH Foundation is continuing its campaign for a second cath lab, which would eventually allow HDGH to provide 24-7 capacity for primary PCI.
On Friday, the HDGH Foundation paid special thanks to United Communities Credit Union for their $100,000 contribution to the campaign.
“United Communities Credit Union is a welcome partner in the Beyond Medicine Campaign. They are leaders who recognize the value in building healthier and stronger communities by supporting projects that make an impact in the quality of life we enjoy while at the same time make Windsor-Essex a great place to live and work,” said Pat Valleau, Interim Executive Director, Hôtel-Dieu Grace Hospital Foundation.
“We sincerely believe that our credit union exists not only to meet the financial goals and aspirations of our Member/Owners, but to serve the greater good of our communities. This gift will provide resources for infrastructure that will attract people and business to our communities that in turn, will help create conditions not only for economic growth, but also conditions that enable families and individuals to reach their full potential,” said Jim Lynn, President and Chief Executive Officer of United Communities Credit Union.
For more information contact Steve Erwin, Director of Communications at 519-973-4433.