San Antonio aims to boost heart attack victims' odds

By Don Finley
The San Antonio Express-News

SAN ANTONIO — Perhaps the biggest collaboration in years by competing doctors, hospitals and emergency medical systems is nearing its launch in the San Antonio area, with the aim of speeding patients with the most deadly form of heart attacks to balloon therapy in 90 minutes or less.

The result will be an organized system of emergency heart attack care similar to the regional trauma system developed here a decade ago. When in place, paramedics using portable 12-lead EKG monitors will trigger what soon will be known throughout the region as a "heart alert" — often before the patient is even lifted into the ambulance.

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