Code STEMI involves a clearly defined procedure that allows for rapid opening of a blocked artery to abort a heart attack. Working with several community health care partners, Rouge Valley has implemented a Code STEMI program that fast-tracks emergency cardiac care for heart attack patients in east Toronto and Durham.



What does STEMI mean?

STEMI stands for ST segment Elevation Myocardial Infarction, which describes a heart attack caused by a completely blocked blood vessel. This kind of heart attack affects large areas of heart muscles, and will register on an electrocardiogram (ECG).

Pilot project

In early 2009, Rouge Valley  participated with the Toronto Heart Attack Collaborative to pilot a new initiative called Code STEMI (segment (ST) elevation myocardial infarction). Through this initiative, unstable heart attack patients from the east Toronto area were brought directly to the catheterization lab at Rouge Valley Centenary hospital campus, where they were given the specialized care they needed—all within a crucial 90-minute window.

The initial pilot in east Toronto demonstrated how effective this initiative can be in saving lives. Simply put, the sooner a percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) is provided by our cardiac care program, the better a patient’s chance of surviving a heart attack. Furthermore, Code STEMI has helped to move patients out of the emergency department more quickly and get them home much sooner. In the pilot, patients’ length of stay in an emergency department was reduced by an average of seven hours, and their average length of stay in hospital was reduced by two days.

Expansion into Durham

At the start of 2010, the Central East Local Health Integration Network (CE LHIN) approved funding for Rouge Valley to continue this life-saving program throughout east Toronto and to expand the program into Durham. At the end of April 2010, we began piloting the Code STEMI program in Durham Region.

Read CE LHIN/RVHS news release.


Resources for health partners


Resources for patients