Saving Heart Muscle, Saving Lives

The MoBap cardiology team explains why time is so critical when it comes to chest pains. New techniques and relationships with local ambulance providers allow MoBap to treat heart attacks faster with better outcomes.

In 2008, cardiologists at Missouri Baptist Medical Center developed the Heart LifeLine Alliance in partnership with rural hospitals, medical helicopter and ambulance services. To decrease damage to heart health Missouri Baptist developed a one call system in partnership with local emergency service With one phone call local emergency services notify Missouri Baptist of patients who are having an acute heart attack who are transferred by helicopter or ambulance to the 24/7 Cath Labs at Missouri Baptist where they can receive lifesaving treatment.

Studies show that if the blocked arteries that cause a heart attack are reopened within a short period of time from the onset of a heart attack, patients have a better survival rate. As a result, leading hospitals like Missouri Baptist are focused on opening blocked arteries within 90 minutes of when a patient arrives at the ER.

Angioplasty is the artery-opening procedure performed by cardiologists in a catheterization lab. The cardiologist inserts a thin wire inside the blocked artery, inflating a small balloon that pushes the clot against the artery wall, restoring blood flow. The time it takes from the heart attack until the cardiac catheterization is critical because heart muscle can be damaged quickly without adequate blood flow.

At Missouri Baptist Medical Center, we believe that our rural communities deserve the same level of care available to people who live near a major medical center. Because angioplasty is 90 to 95 percent effective, the Emergency Department and cardiac catheterization teams at Missouri Baptist work closely together to ensure patients are treated as quickly as possible. Since 2008, more than 500 patients have benefited from Heart LifeLine Alliance Program.

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