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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 Akron General Health System
Akron General Health System, an affiliate of Cleveland Clinic, is a not-for-profit health care organization that has been improving the health and lives of the people and communities it serves since 1914. Akron General Health System includes: Akron General Medical Center, a 532-bed teaching and research medical center, and Edwin Shaw Rehabilitation Institute, the area’s largest provider of rehabilitation services; Akron General Partners, which includes Partners Physician Group, the Akron General Health & Wellness Centers, Lodi Community Hospital, Community Health Centers and other companies; Akron General Visiting Nurse Service and Affiliates; and Akron General Foundation. Recently, U.S. News & World Report ranked Akron General Medical Center as the fifth best hospital in Ohio. In 2013, the American Nurses Association bestowed the prestigious “Magnet” status on the more than 1,000 nurses from Akron General Medical Center, Edwin Shaw Rehabilitation Institute and the Health System’s Health & Wellness Centers. For more information about Akron General Health System, visit

Akron General Medical Center • 1 Akron General Avenue (Formerly 400 Wabash Avenue) • Akron, OH 44307 • 330-344-6000 • 1-800-221-4601    © 2016 Akron General Health System
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