August 21, 2006
Contact: Claudie Benjamin
Wireless Technology Saves Valuable Time during Cardiac Emergency
NEWARK — When a heart attack strikes, every minute that passes without treatment allows more damage to occur to the heart muscle, weakening the chance of recovery or even survival. New technology now being tested at UMDNJ’s University Hospital in Newark is enabling heart specialist to connect sooner with patients who are in cardiac distress, limiting heart muscle damage and stretching the “golden hour” for treating heart attacks.
Called the STAT-MI Trial, this pilot program employs wireless handheld technologies allow for the rapid diagnosis of patients suspected of a myocardial infarction, the medical term for a heart attack. The quicker diagnosis allows patients to bypass procedures, such as admittance through the hospital’s emergency room, which could delay the onset of valuable treatment.
When emergency personnel respond to a call regarding a patient having a suspected heart attack, they can employ a special electrocardiogram (ECG) that analyzes the condition of the patient’s heart and transmits that data to the hospital’s emergency room and cardiac catheterization lab. The receiving station instantly converts the report and transmits it to a cardiologist for analysis. The cardiologist then can arrange a treatment response - such as directing that the patient go directly to the cardiac catheterization lab - even before the patient arrives at the hospital, saving precious time for the patient in the grip of a heart attack.
Using this technology, patients have been able to receive treatment, such balloon angioplasty to open clogged heart arteries, as much as an hour faster than the national average.
The STAT-MI Trial is under the direction of Dr. Marc Klapholz, chief of cardiology at University Hospital and an associate professor at UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School. To arrange an interview with Dr. Klapholz on the STAT-MI Trial, this topic, please contact Claudie Benjamin at (973) 972-6273.
UMDNJ is the nation's largest free-standing public health sciences university with more than 5,500 students attending the state's three medical schools, its only dental school, a graduate school of biomedical sciences, a school of health related professions, a school of nursing and its only school of public health, on five campuses. Last year, there were more than two million patient visits to UMDNJ facilities and faculty at campuses in Newark, New Brunswick/Piscataway, Scotch Plains, Camden and Stratford. UMDNJ operates University Hospital, a Level I Trauma Center in Newark, and University Behavioral HealthCare, a mental health and addiction services network