ED, Cath Lab hold heart attack/stroke drills

SAMC and local Emergency Medical Services (EMS) collaborated on two mock drills recently to practice a seamless handoff of a myocardial infarction (MI) patient to the SAMC Emergency Department (ED). The second 5041ERCathLabStrokeExercise310x153 drill involved the patient having a stroke while in the Cath Lab.

The drills began with a 911 call to an EMS dispatcher who recognized typical signs and symptoms of a potential heart attack and activated EMS. Once on the scene, EMS assessed the patient, performed an EKG, determined the patient was having a heart attack and transmitted the EKG to the SAMC ED.

An ED physician confirmed the heart attack, which triggered an Acute Myocardial Infarction (AMI) Alert. SAMC's Cardiac Cath Lab and Interventional Cardiology were notified that a heart attack patient was enroute to the hospital and began making preparations to receive the patient. The patient stopped briefly in the ED and was then taken by the cath lab staff for cardiac intervention.

The drill incorporated a Stroke Alert drill for the cath lab staff. After the cardiac intervention was completed, the patient began exhibiting signs of a stroke while still on the cath lab table. The team saved the day for the patient by correctly identifying the signs and symptoms of a stroke and initiating a Stoke Alert. When the Stroke Alert was activated, the patient was taken to CAT Scan and a radiology technician responds with a telemedicine cart. The telemedicine cart allows a Neurologist to conduct a real-time video examination of the patient. The Neurologist can diagnose and prescribe life-saving drugs to the patient in a matter of minutes. A coordinated and faster response time can result in less permanent damage caused by the stroke.