February 11, 2010
AUGUSTA -- In this week's Smart Heart segment, we continue our tour inside University Hospital's Heart and Vascular Institute. We're looking at how the hospital's Emergency Department intervenes for patients with heart problems.
Dwendolyn Harris is a nurse in University's Emergency Department. She works with a team to categorize patients with heart problems and get them into the cath lab quickly.
Harris say they have 5 minutes from the time the patient arrives -- to the time they need to be in the lab.
"Minutes in our field is muscle and time is muscle... meaning that the shorter length of time we can get you to Cath Lab and get that blockage open, it's more likely that we can save your muscle." she said.
Last month, University Hospital started it's "LifeNet" system. The hospital works with Gold Cross to get patients evaluated as soon as possible.
Gold Cross EMTs fax University their EKG reports from the field. Then a doctor determines what kind of heart event a patient is having.