St. Francis offers 24-hour emergency services, including an accredited Chest Pain Center, trauma unit, the Northeast Kansas Poison Center and a helipad and partnership in LifeStar, an air ambulance service. Call 785-295-8091.
When a person has a heart attack, time is of the essence to make sure the patient is treated quickly and heart muscle is preserved.
St. Francis Health Center, Cardiology Consultants of Topeka PA and American Medical Response (AMR) have partnered to offer the community the Medtronic Life Net Receiving Station to improve treatment times for heart attack patients.
Since October 2007, AMR has had the capability to send a diagnostic 12-lead EKG from the ambulance to a physician in the St. Francis Emergency Department, who can read the EKG and forward it to a cardiologist’s personal digital assistant, computer or fax machine with a single mouse click for a quick diagnosis. If it’s determined the person is having a heart attack, the cardiologist and cardiac catheterization lab staff can be en route immediately so they can arrive at the Emergency Department at about the same time the patient does.
This technology is particularly important after hours and on weekends when physicians and cath lab staff are not routinely in the hospital. The standard of care for heart attack patients is to open the blocked artery with a balloon, or stent, as quickly as possible to preserve heart muscle. The time it takes for the patient to go from arrival to the Emergency Department to the opening of the artery in the cardiac catheterization lab is known as ‘door-to-balloon’ time. This time correlates well with patient outcomes and therefore every effort is made to minimize this time.
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services standards advise that at least 75 percent of heart attack patients should have door-to-balloon times of 90 minutes or less.
Life Net Process Features
• AMR transmits 12-lead EKG.
• ED screen flashes and audio screens activate.
• ED physician reads the EKG and determines whether it is a myorcardial infarction (heart attack) and transmits the EKG to the cardiologist on duty.
• ED calls the cardiologist and activates the Cath Lab.
• Patient arrives and treatment begins immediately.