The Northeast Georgia Regional STEMI System is a collaboration between NGMC’s Emergency Rooms and Cardiac Catheterization Labs, along with hospitals throughout the region and EMS departments across 18 counties. Together, these clinical experts work together to coordinate effective treatment for heart attack as quickly as possible.

How it works

When EMS responds to a call for a patient with chest pain or possible heart attack symptoms, paramedics/EMTs quickly assess and stabilize vitals, provide medications and start diagnostics, including an EKG, all within a matter of minutes. While EMS are in route, the EKG is transmitted to NGHS’ Emergency Communication Center. Initiating this life-saving process at the earliest possible moment is only possible thanks to the quick and expert assessment performed by EMS.

The on-call interventional cardiologist will be immediately notified by the Emergency Communication Center. They will thoroughly read the EKG and determine the type of heart attack and whether it’s a particularly severe type, known as a STEMI (S-T Elevation Myocardial Infarction). Collaboration between the interventional cardiologist and EMS team determines whether the STEMI System is activated. If the system is initiated, the cath labs will be prepped for the arrival of the patient.

Once the EMS team and the patient arrive on-site, the goal is to bypass the Emergency Department, unless additional imaging or diagnostic services are needed, and go directly to the cath lab for life-saving intervention. Our teams are held to the highest response time standards, ensuring patients receive treatment as quickly as possible.

While in the cath lab, you’ll be mildly sedated, and the experienced interventional cardiology team, including the nurses, technologists and interventional cardiologists, will provide the highest level of clinical care. Our dedicated interventional cardiology teams work tirelessly to ensure comfort, peace and reassurance throughout every phase of care.

A Model for STEMI Treatment in Georgia

Under the leadership of Northeast Georgia Medical Center, the Northeast Georgia Regional STEMI System has laid the foundation for coordinated out-of-hospital heart attack response in Georgia and is being used as a model nationwide.

When it first started, the Northeast Georgia Regional STEMI System encompassed only one county and one hospital. Since then, it’s expanded to include upwards of 18 counties and nearly 10 hospitals. As a part of the system, a multi-disciplinary group of experts from around the region come together every month to review cases and procedures, discuss advancements in care and ensure patients are receiving the highest level of treatment when it matters most.

The Northeast Georgia Regional STEMI System has served as the driving force behind the state legislation that enacted the Emergency Cardiac Care Center designation, of which NGMC was the first in the state to receive.