STEMI stands for ST-elevation myocardial infarction. It’s a type of heart attack that happens as a result of a blood clot completely blocking blood flow. This differs from the less severe, non-STEMI type of heart attack that is caused by a partially blocked artery. If someone is having a STEMI, it is a life-threatening situation and every second counts.
• Symptoms of a STEMI may include chest pain, trouble breathing, nausea and vomiting, profuse sweating and falling to the ground.
• If a STEMI is suspected, it’s critical that someone call 911 immediately. A STEMI can cause serious damage to the heart, and requires immediate medical attention.
• A doctor can make a STEMI diagnosis by doing an electrocardiogram, also referred to as an ECG or EKG. This test will create a graph of the heart’s electrical activity, and it will show an elevated ST segment in the case of a STEMI.
• Treatment for a STEMI may include a procedure called thrombolysis, whereby the patient is injected with a substance that will work to dissolve the clot and restore blood flow. This treatment is often used within three hours of the onset of the heart attack. If thrombolysis isn’t performed, it’s likely that the patient will need coronary angioplasty or coronary artery bypass graft surgery to help facilitate blood flow to the heart.
• A STEMI time is defined as a hospital’s average time to reestablish blood flow from the moment the patient arrives as the emergency room. The American College of Cardiology, the American Heart Association and the Joint Commission state that STEMI time should be 90 minutes or less. Central Florida Regional Hospital’s average STEMI time consistently beats that. Our average STEMI time is posted on our website at www.centralfloridaregional.com.
Central Florida Regional Hospital is the only facility in Seminole and West Volusia Counties that provides complete cardiac care for every type of heart attack, including STEMI. To learn more, visit us online or call 407 321-4500.