Helping Heart Attack Patients Survive Through a Coordinated System of Care

Lobsterman holding a lobster by oceanSince the inception of the AMI PERFUSE Program, deaths due to heart attack in the MaineHealth service area have declined by about 50 percent.

When a heart attack occurs, immediate treatment is needed to prevent death and avoid permanent damage to the heart muscle.

The MaineHealth AMI (Acute Myocardial Infarction) PERFUSE (Patients Emergently Reperfused by Facilities United for STEMI Excellence) Program is a regional system that aims to provide the fastest, most appropriate heart attack care and in turn ensure the best possible outcomes for patients. The regional system involves all MaineHealth hospitals, and the emergency medical services providers in the communities they serve. Here is how the program works:

  • When a person with symptoms of a heart attack arrives at the emergency department of their local hospital, clinicians work as quickly as possible to complete an electrocardiogram (EKG) and, if the patient is having a heart attack, provide medications.
  • Treatment can begin sooner when the local emergency medical responders are called; technicians with advanced training in heart attack care perform EKGs in the ambulance so that hospital emergency departments get the information before the patient arrives.
  • The patient is then transported to Maine Medical Center as soon as possible to receive surgery to repair the arteries causing the heart attack.

A critical part of the program’s success is ensuring that patients return to their local community for ongoing cardiovascular care.

Tracking Progress

Explore some of the data being tracked by AMI PERFUSE Program.

Percentage of Heart Attack Patients Who Received Treatment within Recommended Timeframes

 HealthIndex-Cardiovascular-AMIPERFUSE

During the period July 2015 to June 2016, 85% of patients received an angioplasty within 90 minutes of arriving at the surgical hospital. This percentage has been steadily rising from 47% when the program began in 2005.  

 

*Data presented for time-to-treatment in the hospital are the proportions among those patients who did not have unavoidable circumstances that delayed treatment beyond the strived-for timeframe. 

**Timeframes are set by American College of Cardiology and the American Hospital Association.

Mark's Story

Mark is a lobsterman in Arundel who spends the winter months clearing snow. But one day, his shoveling was interrupted by chest pain. That's when he learned first hand about a coordinated system of care that is dramatically reducing the number of people in Maine dying of heart attacks.

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