Helping Heart Attack Patients Survive Through a Coordinated System of Care

Lobsterman holding a lobster by ocean
Since 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.
  • Timeframes are set by American College of Cardiology and the American Hospital Association.

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.

 

 The AMI PERFUSE program reports that for those that arrive at the hospital experiencing a heart attack:

  • Currently, 82% of patients had an electrocardiogram en route or within 10 minutes of arriving at a local emergency room.    
  • 70% received thrombolytic therapy within 30 minutes of arriving at the local emergency rooms. 
  • 85% received an angioplasty within 90 minutes of arriving at a surgical hospital.
  • Timeframes are set by American College of Cardiology and the American Hospital Association.

 

PERFUSE2018

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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