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Beating the Clock:

New LifeNet® System Treats
Heart Attack Victims Faster

The CardioVascular Center at The Chester County Hospital has recently installed an EKG system that significantly improves response time in treating heart attack victims - a matter of life and death since time is heart muscle for these patients. The new LifeNet® System equips the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) team with Medtronic's LifePak® 12 cardiac monitor/defibrillator system which allows them to perform a 12-lead EKG in the field and transmit the results directly to the Hospital's Emergency Department (ED). This new technology activates a rapid response team approach as soon as it is determined a patient is in the midst of a major attack. The Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory team is notified immediately, even before the patient arrives in the ED.

Treatment for a heart attack includes the rapid and effective re-opening of the blocked coronary artery. This life saving process for patients' experiencing an acute heart attack is called Primary Angioplasty. The blocked artery is immediately opened with balloon catheters and stents, often aborting a heart attack and saving heart muscle from permanent damage.

"We are constantly seeking improvements in our processes to minimize treatment time," comments Timothy J. Boyek, M.D., Director of Diagnostic and Interventional Catheterization Laboratories, The Chester County Hospital. "We now offer the new LifeNet® System in our Emergency Department as a means of providing the best possible cardiac care and to positively enhance patient outcomes."

American College of Cardiology (ACC) national standards recommend hospitals strive to have patients in the catheterization laboratory with the blocked vessel open within 90 minutes of arrival time to the hospital. The CardioVascular Center at The Chester County Hospital has consistently exceeded this standard, saving heart muscle and saving lives.

The Chester County Hospital was the first hospital in Chester County to offer this service 24 hours a day, seven days a week. "Patients suffering from a heart attack are transported to our catheterization lab quicker and thereby suffer less heart muscle damage," Boyek concludes.

The Chester County Hospital is an independent, not-for-profit hospital located in West Chester, Pennsylvania. It provides a full range of medical and surgical treatment with specialties in Cardiology, Oncology, Women's Health and Orthopedics. It was the first hospital in Chester County to establish a full-service, cardiac program in July of 2001. Since that time, The CardioVascular Center has treated more than 6,500 area residents. In April 2006, the Cleveland Clinic and The Chester County Hospital entered a clinical affiliation in heart surgery.


Last Updated: 6/22/2009