New heart attack protocol promises ‘gold standard’ of care for patients in Midland, Collingwood

Patients will be transported directly to the Cardiac Intervention Unit at RVH

Heart attack patients in the Midland and Collingwood areas now have access to a higher standard of care thanks to the Simcoe Muskoka Code STEMI Protocol.

Residents with heart attack symptoms who seek treatment at Georgian Bay General Hospital or Collingwood General and Marine Hospital will be transported directly to Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre’s (RVH) Cardiac Intervention Unit for lifesaving treatment.

“Having these advanced cardiac services, and a highly-skilled team at RVH, means that now the majority of patients in Simcoe County will be able to get lifesaving intervention within 120 minutes of a heart attack,” says Dr. Tony Lee, medical director of RVH’s Cardiac Intervention Unit. “This new cardiac protocol would not be possible without the full collaboration of all our health partners in this region.”

The Simcoe Muskoka Code STEMI Protocol was first introduced to the county in November 2020 and is a partnership between RVH, the County of Simcoe Paramedic Services, Rama Paramedic Services and area hospitals.

Since December, residents of Simcoe County, including Rama First Nation, who call 9-1-1 with heart attack symptoms have been transported directly to RVH for care, bypassing local Emergency departments. However, residents who went to their local hospital’s Emergency departments on their own were stabilized and transported to Southlake Regional Health Centre in Newmarket. With this new protocol in effect, heart attack patients who go to the Emergency departments in Midland, Orillia and Collingwood will be transported to RVH. It is expected the protocol will extend to Muskoka residents in the spring.

The regional heart program at RVH, a partnership with Southlake, opened in January 2018 and has completed more than 6,000 heart procedures including angiograms, angioplasty and pacemaker implants.