Severe heart attacks (or STEMIs) receiving hospitals have the expertise,
equipment, facilities and other resources to administer percutaneous coronary
intervention (PCI), within the STEMI system of care, according to the
American Heart Association.
A STEMI-receiving hospital, such as Alvarado Hospital, has the equipment,
expertise and facilities to administer percutaneous coronary intervention,
a mechanical means of treating heart attack patients. Although PCI is
the preferred means of treating STEMI patients, only 25% of hospitals
in the United States are equipped to do so. These PCI-capable hospitals
are called STEMI-receiving hospitals because they are well equipped to
receive and treat STEMI patients.
Studies have shown that prompt PCI for STEMI patients significantly reduces
their morbidity and mortality, and that STEMI patients have better outcomes
if they receive PCI within 90 minutes of arrival to hospitals. However,
even in hospitals with catheterization labs, only 40% of STEMI patients
receive intervention within the 90-minute door-to-balloon time recommended
by the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology.
Alvarado Hospital's average ER door-to-balloon time is 64 minutes.
The data most recently published by the National Registries of Myocardial
Infarction states that only 20% of STEMI patients in the U.S. are treated
with PCI. Delays in treating or misdiagnosis of such a fatal type of heart
attack can result in catastrophic heart damage and death.