Kristen Remington Participates in Renown's Code STEMI Drill - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Kristen Remington Participates in Renown's Code STEMI Drill

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The Code STEMI Drill starts in Renown’s Emergency Room, where within minutes of complaining about tightness in her chest, Kristen Remington was hooked up to a 12-lead EKG. "Alright, sit real still for about 20 seconds,” the tech instructs. As her results print out, another team in the trauma bay waits for her to be wheeled in. They quickly jump into action. "Start an IV and then we have cardiology coming and we'll call the Cath-Lab because your EKG shows you're having a heart attack,” ER nurses explain to her.

 A dozen people buzzed around her - hooking her up to monitoring equipment and IVs, taking labs, offering aspirin, recording vitals; each person has a clearly defined role. This all happens before the cardiologist steps foot in the room. "Your EKG looks funny,” explains Dr. Richard Seher. “It looks like you're having a heart attack which is unusual in a young woman, but we see it." Dr. Seher quickly decides Kristen’s a candidate for a coronary angiogram - or an x-ray of arteries to the heart - injected with dye. "We see heart attacks in young people and we take this absolutely seriously. We're going to go, are they ready?" he asks his team. Down the hall, Dr. Troy Wiedenbeck meets Kristen at the Cardiac Catheterization Lab to explain what happens if he finds a blockage. "If there is one there, we're going to put a stent in there."

Although this is just a drill, everyone takes it seriously. After Kristen’s prepped for the procedure, the exercise is over and it is time to debrief. Jessica Frank is the Cardiovascular Nurse Navigator for heart surgery and heart attack. She says while the national target time to treat someone is within 90-minutes in an effort to prevent serious damage to the heart, Renown has set its own time target. "Because of the time-sensitivity and getting the patient to treatment - our target is 60-minutes." In fact, Renown averages 45-minutes, in part, because of these drills. Dr. Wiedenbeck adds the procedure is safe for heart attack patients.  “The chances of [heart attack patients] doing very well long term is very high. The problem comes when there's a big delay to recognizing the problem.” Typical symptoms include pain or pressure in your chest and discomfort in your left arm or jaw. Some patients experience nausea, shortness of breath and sweating. 

If you have questions, tune in to Channel 2 News at 5 p.m. on Monday, February 12th for our Ask the Doctor segment. We will be focusing on heart attack symptoms for women. To speak with the cardiologist, call (775) 858-2222 between 5:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.

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