DefinitionA heart attack, also known as a myocardial infarction, occurs when a coronary artery is completely blocked by a blood clot. This blockage causes a lack of blood flow to the heart, resulting in the death of part of the heart muscle.
The heart attack hospitalizations presented on this topic page are based on the date of admission (using the same hospital discharge dataset, but converting to date of admission).
NumeratorData on hospitalizations from heart attacks are presented in the following views:[[br]]
# Number of hospitalizations that occurred with a primary diagnosis of heart attack
# Average daily number of hospitalizations by month
# Maximum daily number of hospitalizations by month
# Minimum daily number of hospitalizations by month
Data Interpretation IssuesHospitalization data for heart attacks do not include individuals who do not receive medical care or who are not hospitalized. This includes those who die in emergency rooms, nursing homes, or at home, and those treated in outpatient settings. Additionally, the measures are based upon events, not individuals. Therefore, if an individual is admitted multiple times, each admission will be counted separately. This method may overestimate the true prevalence of heart attacks.
NOTE: This data is based on the date of admission, not the date of discharge (such as what is used in the IBIS query). Therefore data will differ between IBIS query and the values reported here.
Why Is This Important?Heart attacks are associated with coronary heart disease, the number one killer of Utahns. There are several risk factors associated with heart attacks. Some of these include family history, high blood pressure, tobacco use, high cholesterol, physical inactivity, diabetes, obesity, and exposure to environmental contaminants.
Recent studies have shown significant relationships between air pollutants and increased risk of heart attack or other forms of coronary heart disease. Particulate matter (PM, 2.5) is associated with increased risk in sensitive sub-populations such as the elderly, patients with preexisting heart disease, and those who are survivors of a heart attack.
What Is Being Done?Over the past several years, the Utah Bureau of Emergency Medical Services and Preparedness (BEMS) has enlisted the expertise of hospital cardiac care experts, cardiologists, emergency physicians, other emergency medical providers, the Utah Hospital Association, and the American Heart Association that would accelerate the recognition and treatment of heart attack patients. The focus of this system is to connect emergency medical services (EMS) and hospitals, in an effort to transport patients with a certain type of heart attack, called a ST elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI), to the best hospital that is able to treat them in the shortest possible time.
The Utah STEMI System involves a multi-faceted approach to heart attack victims. By utilizing field electrocardiograms (ECG), EMS agencies are able to identify STEMI patients and alert hospital emergency departments of the patient's condition and expected time of arrival. The field ECG is transmitted to the receiving hospital directly from the patient's location, allowing immediate review by the hospital physicians. This transmission allows physicians to assist in the field care of the patient, as well as activate their hospital STEMI team to prepare a catheterization laboratory (or cath lab). As a result of this coordinated response, precious minutes are saved.