News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Health & Fitness

June 10, 2014

Union boasts PCI accreditation as feature of its emergent heart attack treatments

TERRE HAUTE — Union Hospital has again received the Chest Pain Center with PCI Accreditation from the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care, an international organization dedicated to eliminating heart disease as the No. 1 cause of death worldwide.

Union Hospital and Union Hospital Clinton have both been accredited by the organization since 2008, according to a press release.

PCI is commonly known as coronary angioplasty or simply angioplasty, and is a therapeutic procedure to treat the narrowed and/or occluded arteries of the heart found in coronary disease.

The accredited Chest Pain Center with PCI designates Union as a hospital where PCI is the primary intervention strategy for the treatment of an acute heart attack. This ensures that patients experiencing an acute heart attack receive rapid treatment in the cardiac cath lab to minimize damage to the heart muscle.

“This recognition reflects the dedication of our Union Hospital staff to provide patients with the most advanced care during the early stages of a heart attack,” said Steve Holman, Union Hospital president and CEO. “We are devoted to continually improving our heart care program, and this accreditation demonstrates our commitment to higher standards and enhancing quality of care for patients.”

To gain the accreditation, Union Hospital underwent an evaluation by SCPC for its ability to assess, diagnose and treat patients who may be experiencing heart attacks. Among criteria are those aimed at reducing the time from onset of symptoms to diagnosis and treatment, and treating patients more quickly during the critical window of time when the integrity of the heart muscle can be preserved. They also monitor patients when it is not certain that they are having a heart attack to ensure that they are neither sent home too quickly nor needlessly admitted to the hospital.

“Too many heart attack patients will deny their symptoms, delay treatment and come to the emergency department by car,” stated Myrna Dienhart, Union Hospital System director and coordinator of the Chest Pain Center.

“Our message to the public is to know the symptoms of heart attack and to call 911 immediately for the best care and outcome. Delays in treatment can cause permanent heart muscle damage, and calling 911 can prevent an auto accident or provide life-saving care by the EMS team if needed en route to the hospital.”

Union Hospital’s health care starts before the person having a heart attack even arrives at the hospital. With advanced technology, paramedics are able to send EKGs to the hospital before the arrival of the patient and can activate the heart code team.

Other focal points include highly trained emergency department staff; cath lab special heart code team; and Union Hospital’s community outreach program, which is aimed at educating the public on the signs and symptoms of heart attack so they call 911 immediately.

HEART ATTACK SIGNS

• Discomfort, pressure, heaviness, or pain in the chest or below the breastbone

• Discomfort radiating to the back, jaw, throat or arm

• Fullness, indigestion or a choking feeling, which may feel like heartburn

• Sweating, nausea, vomiting or dizziness

• Extreme weakness, anxiety or shortness of breath

• Rapid or irregular heartbeats.

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