Meritus cath lab receives third award

HAGERSTOWN, Md. — Meritus Medical Center’s cardiac catheterization lab has earned its third award since 2015 from the American Heart Association for consistent, high-quality care.

The Mission: Lifeline Silver Receiving Quality Achievement Award for 2018 was presented to the lab staff for its treatment of patients who suffer severe heart attacks.

The Meritus cardiac cath lab treats approximately 136 patients each year for STEMI or “ST elevation myocardial infarction.” According to a Meritus news release, STEMI is a deadly type of heart attack caused by a blockage of blood flow to the heart. It requires timely treatment by restoring the flow as quickly as possible either by mechanically opening the blocked vessel or providing clot-busting medication.

The team has a goal of a door-to-balloon — the treatment method to open the blocked vessel — time of 90 minutes for a STEMI patient. It has exceeded that by averaging 66 minutes per patient for door-to-balloon time during the past seven years.