Penn Heart Rescue is a rapid referral program at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center with emergency protocols to ensure that patients experiencing ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) receive the best care possible during the critical interval between diagnosis and care ("door-to-balloon" time). All patients who arrive at Penn Presbyterian with symptoms of a heart attack are fast-tracked to receive an emergency angioplasty procedure when time is of the essence. 

Rapid Referral for Patients with Cardiac Emergencies

Penn Heart Rescue® is a rapid referral program at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center developed to ensure patients experiencing a cardiovascular emergency receive the best possible care, no matter where they first seek care. The program provides immediate access to tertiary/quaternary cardiology and cardiothoracic (CT) surgery services at Penn Presbyterian.

Penn Heart Rescue® was originally designed to provide cardiac cath lab services for patients experiencing a heart attack where the arteries are completely blocked, a condition called ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI). Over the years the program has expanded to address a variety of conditions including care for: acute NSTEMI's, cardiac arrest & therapeutic hypothermia, cardiogenic shock, and aortic dissection. Since launching the program in 2007, we have provided emergency care to more than 1,900 patients, and when compared to benchmarks the program shows a significant reduction in mortality rates.

The mission of Penn Heart Rescue® is to ensure every physician and hospital can access all resources needed to provide their patients with the best possible care. With that goal in mind, Penn Heart Rescue® is available to the entire region 24/7/365.

One phone call to Penn Heart Rescue® at 215-662-8888 reaches an attending cardiologist at Penn Presbyterian for consultation on clinical treatment and coordination of the transfer through the PennSTAR program. The critical care transportation team is sent to the retrieve the patient and clinical protocols are maintained during ground/air transfer. Once at Penn Presbyterian patients have access to our 24/7 cardiac cath lab, CT surgery, circulatory support and critical care services to meet the needs of any emergency.

The Penn Heart Rescue program currently partners with 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
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