Designated STEMI Centers

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COLUMBIA – Two local hospitals are now regarded as top tier centers for handling potentially fatal heart attacks.

The Missouri Department of Health named Boone Hospital and University Hospital Level One STEMI Centers today.  STEMI, short for ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction, is a high-risk heart attack that can be fatal.

Interventional Cardiologist Arun Kumar said being a Level One hospital carries great responsibility.

“It’s a center that’s a resource for the region,” Kumar said. “That includes involving education for other hospitals. Additionally, it signifies that you’re a center that can handle any case, including the most complex cases.”

The Department of Health has enacted a Time Critical Diagnosis plan in order to get help to patients before the risk of dying increases.

The plan combines the 911 response and ambulance and hospital services to reduce the amount of time a response takes.

Kristi Baden, STEMI coordinator for Boone Hospital said STEMI treatment is something hospitals around the state have been working on for years.

“There were so many hospitals involved, whether they were sending or receiving facilities,” Baden said. “They were already capturing data and seeing where they could improve without the regulations coming out and saying ‘This is what you need to do.’”

There are 23 designated Level One STEMI Centers in Missouri.