Through the Penn Heart Rescue Program at Shore Medical Center, patients who arrive at Shore's Emergency Department with symptoms of a STEMI heart attack (a heart attack that is diagnosed by a 12-lead electrocardiogram or EKG) can be referred immediately to Penn Presbyterian Medical Center in Philadelphia, part of the University of Pennsylvania Health System.
Shore Medical Center's Emergency Department makes the initial assessment for the heart attack patient based on the results of an EKG exam. With just one phone call to the Penn Heart Rescue team, the emergency angioplasty team assembles at Penn Presbyterian and the helicopter prepares for take off from Shore. While the helicopter is en route, a flight nurse and flight paramedic trained in critical care medicine perform essential tests and prepare the patient for the emergency angioplasty. The flight team provides a level of continuing treatment similar to the care received in the emergency room. This way, no time is lost during the 25-minute helicopter flight from Somers Point to Philadelphia. When a patient arrives at Penn Presbyterian, he or she is rushed immediately into the cardiac catheterization laboratory for the procedure. The catheterization laboratories and surgical suites are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Health professionals are available from cardiology, cardiovascular surgery, vascular medicine, pulmonary and critical care medicine, and other specialty areas as needed. After immediate evaluation and treatment at Penn Presbyterian, patients are then able to return to Shore Medical Center and their local physicians for continuation of care close to home. For more information about Penn Heart Rescue, call 1-800-789-PENN (7366), or visit the PennHealth Website.