Penn Heart and Vascular

Penn Heart Rescue®

Emergency Referral for Heart Attack Patients

Patients experiencing a heart attack where the arteries are completely blocked, a condition called ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI), need fast, definitive treatment to re-open the blocked artery. Studies have shown that the shorter the interval between diagnosis of STEMI and definitive treatment (referred to as "door-to-balloon" time, or D2B) the better the outcomes for the patient. Because not every hospital has all of the resources needed to treat these patients, Penn Heart Rescue®is available to every hospital in the region.

Penn Heart Rescue® is a rapid referral program at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center with emergency protocols to ensure patients experiencing STEMI receive the best possible care, no matter where they first sought care. All patients who arrive at Penn Presbyterian with symptoms of heart attack are fast tracked to receive an emergency angioplasty procedure when time is of the essence.

One phone call to Penn Heart Rescue® reaches an attending cardiologist at Penn Presbyterian for consultation and the dispatch of PennSTAR service to transfer the patient. Clinical protocols are implemented to initiate treatment while awaiting transfer. Upon arrival diagnosis is confirmed and a treatment plan is put into action.

Since its inception in 2007, Penn Heart Rescue® has provided emergency cardiac care to more than 1,200 patients. The service is available to any physician or hospital 24/7/365 and has expanded to include cardiac arrest, therapeutic hypothermia, cardiogenic shock, and aortic dissection. When compared to benchmarks, the Penn Heart Rescue program shows a significant reduction in mortality rates.

The Penn Heart Rescue program currently includes six regional hospitals:

  • In Pennsylvania
    • Chestnut Hill Hospital, Philadelphia
    • Mercy Suburban Hospital, Norristown
    • Nazareth Hospital, Philadelphia
  • In New Jersey
    • Cape Regional Medical Center, Cape May Court House
    • Shore Memorial Hospital, Somers Point
    • Virtua Memorial Hospital, Mt. Holly

Penn Heart Rescue Volumes at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center FY 2009 & FY 2010

FY 2009, N=228 FY 2010, N=208 FY 2011, N=289
July 9 19 29
August 19 26 30
September 18 23 25
October 21 9 18
November 17 16 24
December 24 6 22
January 24 11 25
February 20 17 20
March 20 12 27
April 13 19 22
May 16 29 18
June 27 21 29
  • FY 2010, N = 208
  • FY 2011, N = 289

For more information, please contact our program director, Matt O'Donnell, BSN, CCRN, at 215-327-7787.

Penn Heart & Vascular Clinical Activity Reports

See Interactive Report or Download PDF Version