The Stent – Save a Life initiative is designed “to improve for patients with ST- segment elevation myocardial infarction the access to guideline-coherent therapy and to primary percutaneous coronary intervention, because we believe that this is finally the best treatment,” explained Christoph Naber, one of the chairs of Monday’s Stent – Save a Life! 2017 Annual Forum. “We are here to shape the future,” he added.
The Stent – Save a Life initiative is the successor of the Stent for Life programme. As C. Naber explained, Stent for Life “was a European approach, but it then expanded rapidly beyond Europe. In 2016, countries such as Tunisia, South Africa, Egypt, India, Argentina, and Mexico were all involved; these are not European! We began to ask ourselves what the global need is for such an initiative, and this was the question that created Stent – Save a Life.”
“It does not matter where in the world a patient suffers from STEMI, we need to make sure they receive the best care we can deliver. We have differing resources and problems in each country, but this is all about our patients,” C. Naber told the attendees.
New infrastructure has been put in place to achieve this expansion. Regional boards will work to identify candidate countries and then work to produce a strategic plan, “which is always developed by representatives of the national healthcare system, the national cardiovascular society, and other partners such as cardiovascular device industry,” C. Naber said. “Over the next three years, this group needs to develop a plan for the country and make the contacts necessary to achieve the plan. Getting the regional structures working is the most important thing”.
Speaking to The Daily Wire before the session, C. Naber said, “We want to explain that for those who are already members, nothing much will change. We are increasing the presence of this initiative in the various regions, and we want to inform session attendees about the progress in different countries. We also want to speak about some general problems that we have had, and how we have found solutions; the Stent – Save a Life initiative is about structuring the process, about learning from each other. It is essential that we can learn from countries like Argentina, China, South Africa and India, who had problems that they solved that other countries can learn from.”
Monday’s session, which registered participants from 32 countries, reflected these goals and was split into three parts. The first part of the session focussed on the importance of a successful network and reflected on eight years of success for the Stent for Life programme. The session also included presentations by those involved in starting and then running a national STEMI programme, giving their insights into the internal processes behind the initiatives. The global challenges of STEMI care were then discussed, with presentations given on Latin America, Africa, and the Asia-Pacific region in general, and Mexico, China, and Tunisia in particular. C. Naber noted that by 2030, coronary disease is expected to increase by 40% in Asia, 70% in Africa and 25% in Latin America, while it will fall in Europe. “We need to shape the future and take care of all of these patients that come to us for treatment,” C. Naber said. The power of collaborative solutions was the thrust of the third and final part of the session, with views from Sri Lanka, Sudan, and Hong Kong among those featured. Closing the session, C. Naber said, “This was a great meeting. Each talk showed so much energy and so much commitment; it was very stimulating.”
Setting out key milestones for the coming year, C. Naber noted that “there are much more things to achieve.” Some key goals mentioned were the assessment of the ongoing projects, the finalisation of the programme’s survey, and the establishment of a shared clinical database.