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Southlake innovates standards in life-saving cardiac care for heart attack patients across Canada

Saturday February 8, 2020

  • Blog
  • Foundation

For patients experiencing a heart attack, every minute counts.

That’s why Southlake’s own Dr. Warren Cantor is passionate about standardizing guidelines, ensuring faster care for patients across Canada and the best possible outcomes – no matter how remote.

Dr. Cantor is internationally recognized as an expert in the field of acute coronary syndromes. His area of specialty is what’s known as ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction (STEMI for short), a heart attack caused by 100% blockage of a coronary artery. It’s a serious and life-threatening condition that requires emergency treatment.

The most recent best practice guidelines were published in the 2019 Canadian Journal of Cardiology, developed with Dr. Cantor as co-chair along with a team of experts, including Dr. Chris Overgaard from Southlake’s Regional Cardiac Care Program. Based on research done in part at Southlake, they established the recommendation for the regional network of STEMI care that is in place today.

Advanced hospitals with Regional Cardiac Care Programs like Southlake act as the regional hub, equipped to perform the innovative and complex procedure required to clear the blockage, with surrounding community hospitals and EMS responsible for providing initial care when time is of the essence.

Research shows that the ideal time to undergo angioplasty is within 120 minutes of first medical contact. As a Regional Cardiac Care Program, Southlake’s catchment area stretches across York Region, South Simcoe County, Dufferin County, Northern Durham County and as far north as Muskoka. Ambulances transporting cardiac patients bypass community hospitals, but distance is still a factor.

By enabling rapid diagnosis of STEMI and facilitating immediate transfer to Southlake, patients can now get urgent treatment faster and will suffer less damage to the heart, reducing long-term complications.

Southlake sees more than 600 STEMI cases every year. Thanks to the innovative work of Dr. Cantor and his team, and support from donors who put the right tools in their hands, those patients can trust that they will receive the best possible care, when they need it most.

Home to the fourth largest Regional Cardiac Care Program in the province, Southlake is a leader in delivering cutting edge cardiac care that improves and saves lives. With a leading edge clinical team and state-of-the-art equipment, we are able to attract the talented physicians and clinicians who make innovative solutions a reality, providing better outcomes than ever before for patients and families in our communities.