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Lifesaving Cardiac Event Team is Ready 24-7-365

Lifesaving Cardiac Event Team is Ready 24-7-365

Also known as a massive heart attack or widow maker, a ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) occurs when one of the heart’s major arteries is blocked. As with a stroke, STEMI is a life-threatening medical emergency and it is critical to call 911 if it happens to you or a loved one. When Washington Hospital receives a “Code STEMI” from paramedics in the field, our award-winning STEMI team forms and is ready to treat the patient immediately upon arrival.

“Diagnosing a STEMI begins before a patient arrives in the Emergency Department. It starts when paramedics run an electrocardiogram (EKG) and call ahead to alert us at the Hospital,” says Nowwar Mustafa, MD, an interventional cardiologist with Washington Township Medical Foundation. “We have an exceptional “door-to-balloon” time, which means the patient is in the cardiac catheterization lab (Cath Lab) for an angioplasty to open the blocked artery as soon as possible after they come in our doors.”

Washington Hospital is an early adopter of the standard to get heart attack patients into the Cath Lab to restore blood flow to the heart within 90 minutes or less. In 2022, we achieved this 90% of the time. As a designated STEMI Receiving Center for Alameda County, we are recognized annually by the American Heart Association for consistently meeting and exceeding national guidelines.

Classic signs of a STEMI include chest pain or pressure; discomfort in the arms, back, neck, jaw, or stomach; shortness of breath; and cold sweat, nausea, or lightheadedness. If you or anyone around you experiences these symptoms, call 911 right away. You could be saving a life.