The Stent – Save a Life! Forum, which took place on 21 May at EuroPCR, gives members of the initiative and healthcare professionals interested in STEMI care an invaluable opportunity to come together and exchange views on how to improve the delivery of care for patients with ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction.
Global chair Christoph K. Naber says: “We realised when we wanted to go global that despite all the regional differences, the players and their roles within a STEMI network remain the same, so we can learn tremendously from each other and do not need to reinvent the wheel every time.” The day was divided into three parts, which followed on from the opening welcome by William Wijns and C. K. Naber’s presentation on developments in Stent – Save a Life! in 2017/2018.
The first section covered lessons to be learned from others, an important aspect of the programme’s work that enables members to share best practice. Myanmar outlined the challenges of ‘Starting from scratch’, in a country with only two PCI centres, while Hong Kong explained the ‘Peculiarities in big cities’, which have their own obstacles to treatment. Argentina revealed results from the first three years of its national STEMI programme, and Germany presented data from the FITT-STEMI study, which demonstrated that the entire process of care is crucial to a patient’s survival, from their first medical contact until they arrive on the operating table. “The sicker a patient is, the more important this becomes, and this is true to our message that we need to improve processes in the first place.”
The second section examined the use of modern technology in STEMI care, with Mexico presenting an app it has developed to empower patients and relatives when facing an AMI, and India demonstrating its STEMI integrated model using a cloud-based data-service. From the Netherlands came a travel app for cardiac care when abroad, with Taiwan showcasing its ‘heartbreak jacket’. C. K. Naber praises in particular the STEMI India project, which has developed a tablet that can record ECGs, measure blood pressure and collect relevant data along the patient’s treatment course. “It is easy to transfer the data to the next PCI hub, so the hub can decide if they should take the patient and give advice to the GP or non-PCI hospital about how to proceed.”
The final section of the day provided an update on data with relevance for STEMI care in daily practice such as the role of the pharmaco-invasive approach. C. K. Naber points out that “While we know that primary PCI is the optimal treatment for a STEMI patient, there is a strong position for the pharmaco-invasive approach in countries where the infrastructure does not allow for primary PCI for all. We have to adapt the treatment to the resources in the country.”
At the end of the Forum, C. K. Naber set out key milestones for the next year for Stent – Save a Life! to be of practical relevance to improve the delivery of patient care, and to offer constructive advice on how networks are built and how reliable data can be collected with the help of modern technology. “To be able to monitor and see if we are really successful is the biggest issue. And, without data it is also harder for governments to see the entire problem.” Investing in infrastructure for STEMI is good for the entire economy, because “at the end you have more people working, and you spend less money on sick people. Our data clearly show that is is really worth the investment.”