PATERSON, NJ [April 15, 2009] - An estimated 1,000 lives could be saved each year if heart attack patients received faster emergency care during and immediately after a heart attack. Recognizing that each minute lost could mean the difference between saving a life ... and losing it, Mobile Intensive Care Unit (MICU) first responders from St. Joseph's Healthcare System have begun implementing therapeutic cooling in the pre-hospital setting, thereby making St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center this region's first hospital to perform the life-saving measure in the field.
"We are setting a trend in critical care," explained Mark Rosenberg, DO, Chairman, Emergency Medicine, St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center. "Being able to provide our patients, especially our time-sensitive cardiac patients, with innovative and successful protocols in life-saving care is our mission. This makes St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center, a state designated trauma center, a true leader in emergency care. Having our MICU team initiate therapeutic cooling as cardiac arrest survivors are transported to St. Joseph's is a complement to the overall continuum of care provided to our patients at the medical center."
St. Joseph's Healthcare System uses therapeutic hypothermia, a body-cooling protocol to stabilize cardiac arrest patients whose hearts have stopped and have been restarted. The MICU team initiates this cooling procedure at the scene for patients who are being brought to the medical center, and it is continued for 24-36 hours in the hospital. St. Joseph's also uses this procedure for those patients who are being cared for in the medical center. Therapeutic hypothermia after cardiac arrest has been supported by the American Heart Association for many years and has been used to save lives at St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center.
According to an article in the January 30, 2009 Medical News Today Journal, "Emergency Medical Services (EMS) providers implemented therapeutic cooling protocols in a number of major U.S. cities including Seattle, WA, Boston, MA, Raleigh, NC, Houston, TX, Phoenix, AZ and New York, NY."
According to the Journal of Emergency Medical Services in January 2009, New York joined several other cities requiring ambulances to take many cardiac arrest patients to hospitals that offer cooling.
St. Joseph's, located in Paterson, NJ, brings big city advanced practices to North Jersey through such services as The Resuscitation Center at St. Joseph's. The Resuscitation Center is a comprehensive center dedicated to the continuum of care of cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) concerns during a patient's time of medical need. The Center encompasses utilization of the following: therapeutic hypothermia, both pre-hospital and during a patient's visit, pre-hospital EKG and telemetry diagnosis, impedance threshold devices to improve ventilation, automatic chest compression devices, as well as, a Primary Angioplasty Program for ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction (STEMI) patients, application of all of cardiology including electrophysiology for post-arrest and pre-discharge assessment, use of cardiac rehabilitation, and community education.
William McDonald, President and Chief Executive Officer, St. Joseph's Healthcare System, is proud of the System's ability to stay on the forefront of medicine. "St. Joseph's Healthcare System provides an extensive range of health care services, top-quality health care providers and state-of-the-art medical advances. Therapeutic cooling is a pre-hospital innovation that extends St. Joseph's high level of care into the surrounding communities where and when it is needed. This service expands our overall continuum of cardiovascular services, a spectrum that includes nationally recognized inpatient care, as well as pre- and post-cardiac care."