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Hospital and New Britain EMS team to speed heart attack treatment

New Britain [January 27 2010] - A patient experiencing a heart attack was at The Hospital of Central Connecticut’s angioplasty suite for life-saving angioplasty treatment within just 16 minutes of arriving to The Hospital of Central Connecticut’s Emergency Department (ED), New Britain General campus, thanks to a new Web-based system used initially today by the hospital and New Britain Emergency Medical Services, Inc.

The Web-based LIFENET® System helps speed treatment of patients having a heart attack known as ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI), as it sends an incoming patient’s electrocardiogram (EKG) reading to the hospital’s ED.

Once an Emergency Department physician confirms a STEMI from the LIFENET System’s EKG transmission – providing information about the heart’s rate, rhythm and electrical activity -- an angioplasty suite can be immediately set up. During angioplasty, a balloon is inserted into a coronary artery to improve blood flow to the heart. The new system’s use is expected to reduce angioplasty suite arrival time by about 30 minutes, according to Robert Flade, R.N., M.S., director, Emergency Department.

Jeffrey Finkelstein, M.D., HCC chief of Emergency Medicine, says the new LIFENET system is a “tremendous” asset. “If we can save time and get the process started before the patient even arrives in the ER, every minute we save is a better outcome for the patient.”

HCC interventional cardiologist Manny Katsetos, M.D., says, “This Web-based system elevates STEMI care to a whole new level that will ultimately save lives.”

With LIFENET, the hospital aims to reduce door to balloon (D2B) STEMI treatment time, already above the 50th percentile nationally and in 2009 reaching the top 10 percent for five months through September. American Heart Association (AHA) and American College of Cardiology guidelines recommend a D2B time of 90 minutes or less.

Bruce Baxter, CEO, New Britain Emergency Medical Services, Inc., says adopting the new system “is all about improving outcomes and it demonstrates the close, collaborative relationship that New Britain EMS has always had with the hospital.”

The New Britain General campus may also receive STEMI readings from other emergency medical services providers who may also have the LIFENET system.

According to the AHA, every year nearly 400,000 people have a STEMI heart attack and only about 25 percent of hospitals in the United States are prepared to treat STEMI patients using percutaneous coronary intervention, also known as angioplasty.

Contact: Kimberly Gensicki, 860-224-5900, x6507

HCC Corporate Communications
(860) 224-5695 • Fax (860) 224-5779