Five local hospitals designated Level 1 STEMI for heart attack care

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ST. LOUIS - Five SSM Health hospitals designated Level I STEMI centers Missouri’s ‘Time Critical Diagnosis’ program provides emergent help for trauma, stroke, and heart attack patients

Five SSM Health hospitals in St. Louis are designated leaders in heart attack care with designation in Missouri as Level I Time Critical Diagnosis (TCD) STEMI Centers by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.

Based on laws enacted in Missouri in 2013, the TCD System is established for emergency medical care for patients with a trauma, stroke or STEMI, a potentially fatal form of heart attack. In those guidelines, STEMI patients treated in the community by emergency providers “as defined by section 190.100 shall be transported to a STEMI center.”

Missouri was the first state in the nation to enact such legislation.

“The primary goal of the TCD System is to provide the right care at the right place at the right time for trauma, stroke and heart attack patients,” says Alexander Garza, MD, SSM Health Chief Quality Officer. “Too many people attempt to drive themselves to the hospital rather than calling 911, and Missouri’s TCD System will help save those lives.”

Missouri’s TCD System is a statewide program bringing together the 911 emergency phone network, ambulance services, and hospitals in a coordinated way to provide quicker and higher-quality treatment. Level I trauma centers have been designated by the state since 1999; however, the STEMI center designations are new, coming on the heels of stroke center designations in 2015.

According to the new guidelines, a Level I STEMI center is “a receiving center staffed and equipped to provide total care for every aspect of STEMI care, including care for those patients with complications that also functions as a resource center for the hospitals within that region, and conducts research.”

SSM Health hospitals designated as Level I STEMI centers by Missouri are:

  • SSM Health DePaul Hospital
  • SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital
  • SSM Health St. Clare Hospital
  • SSM Health St. Joseph Hospital - St. Charles
  • SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital

In addition, SSM Health St. Joseph Hospital - Lake Saint Louis was designated a Level II center, providing care for a large number of patients in the region. SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital is one of three in the St. Louis region
with Level I designation in all three TCD categories, stroke, heart attack and trauma.

“A STEMI requires quick assessment, diagnosis and treatment, and it is important that these patients have access to therapies as quickly as possible,” says Garza. “We are proud to have a significant impact on the St. Louis region in helping to provide this lifesaving care.”

For more information about heart and vascular, click here.

The SSM Health Medical Minute airs every Thursday at 7 PM on KPLR News 11 and at 9 PM on KTVI Fox 2 News.​

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