New Heart Attack Protocol Expands To Include Midland And Collingwood Hospitals

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Heart attack patients in the Midland and Collingwood area now have access to the ‘gold standard’ of care thanks to the Simcoe Muskoka Code STEMI Protocol.

Residents with heart attack symptoms who present to the Emergency departments at Georgian Bay General Hospital or Collingwood General and Marine Hospital will now be transported directly to Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre’s (RVH) Cardiac Intervention Unit for their lifesaving treatment. This ‘gold standard’ of care is achieved when a patient coming from a community hospital receives advanced cardiac care in less than 120 minutes from onset of symptoms.

“Having these advanced cardiac services, and a highly-skilled team at RVH, means that now the majority of patients in Simcoe County will be able to get lifesaving intervention within 120 minutes of a heart attack,” says Dr. Tony Lee, medical director of RVH’s Cardiac Intervention Unit. “This new cardiac protocol would not be possible without the full collaboration of all our health partners in this region.”

This change is the result of an important new heart attack process called the Simcoe Muskoka Code STEMI Protocol, first introduced to the county in November 2020. This phased, gradual approach to bringing advanced cardiac care to the people of Simcoe Muskoka is a partnership between RVH, the County of Simcoe Paramedic Services, Rama Paramedic Services and area hospitals.

Since December, residents of Simcoe County, including Rama First Nation, who call 9-1-1 with heart attack symptoms have been transported directly to RVH for care, bypassing local Emergency departments. However, residents who went to their local hospital’s Emergency departments on their own were stabilized and transported to Southlake Regional Health Centre in Newmarket. Now that the third phase of the new protocol is in effect, heart attack patients who go to the Emergency departments in Midland, Orillia and Collingwood will be transported directly to RVH. It is expected the protocol will extend to Muskoka residents in the spring.

RVH is well positioned to deliver advanced cardiac care. The regional heart program, a partnership with Southlake, opened in January 2018 and since then the cardiac team has completed just over 6,000 heart procedures including angiograms, angioplasty and pacemaker implants.

The program will expand to Muskoka in May.

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