Mercy Hospital and Trauma Center in Janesville is the first and only chest pain center accredited hospital in the area.
After an evaluation of its ability to assess, diagnose and treat possible heart attack patients, the Society of Chest Pain Centers gave Mercy Hospital and Trauma Center a stamp of approval.
This means Mercy Hospital and Trauma Center has strict guidelines aimed at treating patients more quickly during the critical window of time when the heart muscle can be preserved.
To strengthen the message, Mercy teamed up with local heart health advocates to organize a drill exercise/mock Code STEMI on November 30. Mercy Regional Heart and Vascular Center staff, cardiologists, emergency medicine physicians, local EMS crews, Blain’s Farm and Fleet and the American Heart Association came together to demonstrate what happens when a person goes into cardiac arrest or has chest pain while doing every day activities. The demonstration was held at Blain’s Farm and Fleet in Janesville, continued in ambulance and then to Mercy Hospital and Trauma Center’s cath lab.
“People experiencing the most severe kinds of heart attacks often have very low blood pressure and their hearts are electrically unstable,” Dr. Gene Gulliver, interventional cardiologist, told Channel 3000. “They can die very quickly if they don’t receive the right support.”
At Mercy, providing “the right support” means opening up a clogged artery with a balloon during an angioplasty procedure as soon as possible. This kind of procedure requires a Code STEMI where Mercy’s core group of professionals such as local EMS responders, emergency trauma center, heart and vascular center, come together to preserve the heart muscle when crucial minutes are at stake.
Calling 911 at the first signs of a heart attack can save 20 minutes from the time between the onset of symptoms to diagnosis and treatment. That’s because paramedics can test your heart on the spot and send results electronically to Mercy Hospital and Trauma Center, allowing heart specialists to treat the patient faster.
“We are extremely proud of achieving accreditation as a chest pain center,” says Javon Bea, President and CEO of Mercy Health System. “It has been a rigorous process and our team has been working hard to meet this elite mark of excellence. This is yet another example of how we continue to raise the bar for the health and well being of our community.”
Only 12 percent of hospitals nationwide have been granted this type of accreditation.