Teamwork across units leads to six saved lives

Teamwork across units leads to six saved lives

Normally, AAMC performs about 12 emergency angioplasties per month. But on July 7, six patients having active heart attacks arrived in our ED within a 24-hour period. Amazing teamwork occurred as multiple care teams worked together to ensure that each patient received emergency angioplasty within 90 minutes, the national standard.

Here, Julia Blackburn, nursing director of Interventional Radiology, shares the day’s events:

Starting around 6:30 a.m., the first of four back to back emergency calls for ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction (STEMI) was initiated from the ED. The second patient arrived as the first was being completed. This patient had severe disease, was intubated, placed on a ventilator, and had an Intra-aortic balloon pump inserted (a device that helps pump the blood and rest the heart). The third patient arrived almost simultaneously to the second, another physician was called and the patient was cared for in the second Cath Lab. The fourth patient actually arrived only 12 minutes later. Around 8 p.m., the Cath Lab staff received notice that another emergency was on its way. As they cared for him, another patient, the sixth of the day, arrived in our ED. All of these patients were treated within the door to bed (D2B) standard of less than 90 minutes. 

What an amazing story. Kudos to  our physicians (one of whom came in on his day off to help with the cases), the ED, Cardiac Cath Lab, Procedural Care Unit, Interventional Radiology, Critical Care Unit, Annapolis City EMS, and Queen Anne’s County EMS for their incredible efforts.


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