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For release: March 19, 2014

Jim Armstrong 330.344.6083,

Akron General Exceeds Clinical Benchmark in Heart Attack Treatment
Time-to-Treatment Better Than National Recommendations

For nearly two years in a row, the STEMI team at the Akron General Health and Vascular Center has maintained its excellent track record of swift treatment aimed at re-opening blocked heart arteries that cause a heart attack.

STEMI is an acronym meaning "ST segment elevation myocardial infarction," which is a severe type of heart attack. This can be detected on an individual’s electrocardiogram (ECG) test.  Myocardial infarctions (heart attacks) occur when blood flow through one or more of the heart’s arteries becomes blocked, typically by a clot that forms in an area of plaque build-up. The lack of blood flow causes damage to that portion of the heart muscle which, if not corrected quickly, can result in muscle damage and scar tissue formation.  The best chance of avoiding permanent heart muscle damage is acting quickly to restore the blood flow.  This is critically important. 

The American College of Cardiology national guidelines stipulate for treatment to be effective it must take place under 90 minutes from the time a patient arrives at the hospital to the time the artery is opened.  Akron General has exceeded this benchmark for the last 19 months. In fact, its median time-to-treatment in its sophisticated heart catheterization labs is much faster, 57 minutes from time of arrival to opening the vessel.   

In addition, Akron General maintains a STEMI heart attack mortality rate lower than the national average guideline offered by the American College of Cardiology.

“This achievement is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the entire STEMI team at Akron General,” said S. Leslie Tobias, MD, Medical Director of the Heart Catheterization Labs at the Akron General Heart & Vascular Center. “Due to the expertise of our area’s emergency first responders, and Akron General’s Emergency Department, Catheterization Lab, Inpatient Nursing, Cardiovascular Intensive Care and Telecommunications departments, Akron General ranks among the top hospitals in the country for heart attack care.”    

Akron General Heart & Vascular Center provides comprehensive cardiovascular prevention, education, research and care to the residents of northeast Ohio and beyond. Akron General Medical Center is:

  • Summit County's first accredited Chest Pain Center (Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care)
  • A Primary Stroke Center with the Gold Seal of Approval™ from The Joint Commission.

About Cleveland Clinic Akron General
Cleveland Clinic Akron General is a nonprofit healthcare organization that has been improving the health and lives of the people and communities it serves since 1914. Akron General serves as the hub for Cleveland Clinic’s Southern Region and includes a 532-registered-bed teaching and research medical center in downtown Akron; Akron General Partners, which includes Partners Physician Group; three Health & Wellness Centers; Lodi Hospital; Visiting Nurse Service; and Akron General Foundation. Recently, U.S. News & World Report ranked Akron General Medical Center as the tenth best hospital in Ohio. For more information, visit

About Cleveland Clinic
Cleveland Clinic is a nonprofit multispecialty academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education. Located in Cleveland, Ohio, it was founded in 1921 by four renowned physicians with a vision of providing outstanding patient care based upon the principles of cooperation, compassion and innovation. Cleveland Clinic has pioneered many medical breakthroughs, including coronary artery bypass surgery and the first face transplant in the United States. U.S.News & World Report consistently names Cleveland Clinic as one of the nation’s best hospitals in its annual “America’s Best Hospitals” survey. Among Cleveland Clinic’s 49,000 employees are more than 3,400 full-time salaried physicians and researchers and 14,000 nurses, representing 120 medical specialties and subspecialties. The Cleveland Clinic health system includes a 165-acre main campus near downtown Cleveland, nine community hospitals, more than 150 northern Ohio outpatient locations – including 18 full-service family health centers and three health and wellness centers – and locations in Weston, Fla.; Las Vegas, Nev.; Toronto, Canada; Abu Dhabi, UAE; and London, England. In 2015, there were 6.6 million outpatient visits, 164,700 hospital admissions and 208,807 surgical cases throughout the Cleveland Clinic health system. Patients came for treatment from every state and 180 countries. Visit us at Follow us at

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