68 F

Renown provides 24/7 emergent care for heart attack patients



The emergency room at Renown Regional Medical Center now has a cardiologist on-site 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The 24/7 coverage will greatly reduce the time it takes from when a heart patient first arrives in the ER to when they receive life-saving care, usually a balloon angioplasty procedure to open blocked arteries.

“Having a cardiologist actually on-site at the hospital 24/7 will greatly reduce the ‘door to balloon’ time for heart patients coming through the ER, saving more lives,” said David Veillette, executive vice president of specialty hospitals for Renown Health. “When someone has a heart attack, time translates to (heart) muscle, and every minute counts.”

The time it takes to provide a life-saving angioplasty on a heart patient who arrives in the emergency department is known as “door to balloon” times. Studies have shown that when patients receive treatment within 90 minutes after having a heart attack, the ability to save damaged heart muscle is greatly increased. Renown Regional currently has an average “door to balloon” response rate of 60 minutes, which places it in the top 10 percent in the nation.

“This new enhancement in emergent care for heart conditions will reduce our already nationally recognized ‘door to balloon’ times even further,” Veillette said. “It will also increase the speed and quality of care we are able to deliver in an emergency.”

The 24/7 coverage is made possible due to the resources of Renown Institute for Heart and Vascular Health and its collaboration with outstanding and committed cardiologists who are constantly working together to provide quality of cardiac care for northern Nevadans. These cardiologists will rotate their time to be available, even spending the night in the hospital during their rotation. Additionally, Renown Regional has modified protocols to engage interventional vascular suites, equipment and teams immediately as needed.

Emergency teams like REMSA, the regional emergency medical services provider, are in constant contact with the hospital when they bring in patients with chest pain and who show signs of a heart attack, Veillette said. The second the ambulance arrives, Renown’s 24/7 cardiologist and its certified chest pain center is ready.

In conjunction with quality cardiac care and other accreditations, Renown Regional is designated as the region’s only Blue Distinction Center for Cardiac Care by Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield. The vascular lab at Renown Institute for Heart and Vascular Health is also accredited by the Intersocietal Commission for the Accreditation of Vascular Laboratories.

Renown Health has long been recognized as a pioneer in the diagnosis and treatment of heart-related illness. More cardiovascular procedures are done at Renown than anywhere else in the region. Renown has also introduced many of the community’s cardiovascular milestones including the first open-heart surgery, first cardiac angioplasty and first heart catheterization.

This Is Reno is your source for award-winning independent, online Reno news and events since 2009. We are locally owned and operated.