STEMI Receiving Center

Responding to patients suffering from severe heart attacks

In 2010, Enloe Medical Center became the first hospital from the greater Sacramento area to the Oregon border to be designated as a STEMI Receiving Center for the treatment of a severe heart attack known as an ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction. This designation stems from the health care providers, equipment and procedures at Enloe, as well as from the coordination between first responders and hospital personnel that enables the medical center to provide a rapid, coordinated response to cardiac emergencies. In communities that do not feature a STEMI Receiving Center, ambulances may bypass the local hospital in favor of a higher-level center. That is because not all hospitals have the same capability to treat patients suffering from severe heart attacks.

The STEMI Response

The “STEMI Response” begins when the ambulance service or fire department responds to an emergency call or another hospital’s referral. For a person experiencing heart-attack symptoms, an ECG (electrocardiogram) is performed, using equipment provided by the STEMI Receiving Center. Paramedics transmit the ECG to the hospital.

When Enloe receives an ECG that indicates a potential STEMI, a team of physicians, nurses and technicians prepare for the patient’s arrival, allowing the patient to go directly to the Cath Lab or receive care in the Emergency Department, based on the condition of the patient.

The national standard is to open a patient’s blocked vessel within 90 minutes of the initial diagnosis of a heart attack — a timeframe known as the Door-to-Balloon Golden Rule because angioplasty (which employs small balloons) is a common procedure for restoring blood flow in the blocked arteries responsible for STEMI. Studies show that this quick treatment saves heart muscle.

More Information

To learn more about STEMI, visit our What is STEMI Receiving? web page, or view the question-and-answer videos, at right.