University of Missouri Health Care earned the state of Missouri’s highest designation as a Level 1 STEMI center, making it the only health care system in the region that offers patients Level 1 trauma, stroke and STEMI care programs.

STEMI stands for ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction, a life-threatening type of heart attack caused by the complete blockage of a heart artery. This blockage can cause some of the heart muscle to die from lack of nutrients and oxygen. Patients are also at a high risk of cardiac arrest. More than 250,000 Americans suffer this type of heart attack each year.

“Patients who have this type of heart attack require time-critical diagnosis and treatment,” said Arun Kumar, MD, medical director of cardiovascular services at MU Health Care. “When blood flow to the heart is completely shut off, every minute that goes by means more damage to the heart muscle. Once the heart muscle is damaged, there is no way of bringing it back. This is why it’s so vital that patients receive immediate intervention.”

~ Read the rest in today’s Journal ~