Well Done, Wake!

October 25, 2016

Now this is definitely a race we wanted to win.

Wake County treats heart attack patients faster and more efficiently than just about anyone in the country. Not the state — the country. But you don’t have to take our word for it. Just check out a recent study by North Carolina’s Dr. James Jollis in the American Heart Association's "Circulation" journal.

The study worked to “coordinate efforts between 484 hospitals and 1,253 emergency medical services in 16 U.S. regions” (which, to be candid, sounds like a recipe for a cluster). But Wake County’s processes and outcomes are so good, they used its EMS and local hospital protocols as a model for coordinating those efforts.

The specific type of heart attacks in question are called STEMI, and they’re caused by blocked arteries. To prevent dire outcomes, STEMI cases basically need to get from 911 call to surgery in 90 minutes flat. But the study finds that fewer than half of Americans who have the procedure are treated in that time frame.

In Wake County, on the other hand, excellent coordination of care between EMS and hospitals means that more heart attack patients live. And that’s great news.

Read more on the study.

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