Cardiac Care Network of Ontario Welcomes the Auditor General's review of Land Ambulance Services

TORONTO, Dec. 10, 2013 /CNW/ - The Cardiac Care Network of Ontario, (CCN) welcomes the provincial Auditor General's recommendation that a provincial protocol be finalized for treatment of "STEMI" heart attacks.

The recommendation is contained in the chapter of the Auditor General's annual report on Land Ambulance services.  It mirrors a recommendation made in the June, 2013 CCN report,"Recommendations for Best-Practice STEMI Management in Ontario".

STEMI, an acronym for "ST segment elevation myocardial infarction" is a kind of heart attack that can cause death if not treated quickly. About one-third of people who have heart attacks suffer a STEMI.

CCN and its partners are working to implement a province-wide plan aimed at providing faster and better care for the approximately 7,000 Ontarians who suffer "STEMI" heart attacks every year.

Heart attacks have a mortality rate of 30% and recent Canadian studies have shown a 50% reduction in deaths by providing appropriate and timely care for STEMI patients.  Effective STEMI treatment requires quickly restoring blood flow in the coronary artery, ideally within 30 minutes to 2 hours of the heart attack.

"This requires timely diagnosis, transportation and treatment when STEMI is diagnosed or suspected, and the timeliness of the intervention is measured in minutes, not days or weeks," says CCN CEO Kori Kingsbury.  Part of the challenge is to quickly co-ordinate treatment among multiple care givers.

"In order to meet the treatment guidelines, hospitals, doctors, nurses and ambulance services need to work together in a co-ordinated fashion," adds CCN's STEMI-EMS Working Group Chair, Dr. Madhu Natarajan.

SOURCE Cardiac Care Network of Ontario (CCN)

For further information:

Tracey Lynch, Director of Communications
Phone number: (416) 512-7472 ext. 231