Honored for a Higher Standard of Heart Attack Care


St.Vincent Heart Center was recently honored with the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline Gold Quality Achievement Award for Heart Attack Care

Screen Shot 2014-07-10 at 8.52.00 AMEach year in the United States, approximately 250,000 people have a STEMI, or ST-segment Elevation Myocardial Infarction, caused by a complete blockage of blood flow to the heart. Most people think of the condition as a “heart attack.” If it isn’t properly treated in a timely manner, it can often prove fatal for the victim.

To reduce heart muscle damage and decrease the risk of death, blood flow must be restored immediately, either by surgically opening the blocked vessel or by giving clot-busting medication. As the recent recipient of the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline Gold Quality Achievement Award for Heart Attack Care, St.Vincent Heart Center has been recognized as a healthcare provider with systems in place to ensure STEMI patients receive the care they need as quickly as possible.

“St.Vincent Heart Center and St.Vincent Medical Group are proud to be recognized by AHA for this achievement,” said Dr. Edward Fry, chairman of the St.Vincent Medical Group Cardiology Division. “Developing local, regional and statewide systems of care for heart attack patients in need of timely, effective and life-saving emergent treatment is a long standing focus of St.Vincent.”

As a “STEMI Receiving Hospital,” St.Vincent Heart Center meets high standards of performance in rapid and evidence-based treatment of STEMI patients to open a blocked artery. Before discharge, patients are started on proven aggressive risk reduction therapies such as cholesterol-lowering medications, anti-platelet agents, ACE inhibitors, and beta-blockers. In addition, patients start cardiac rehabilitation and receive smoking cessation counseling, if needed. Hospitals must meet a high standard in delivering these guideline-based treatments consistently for a designated period of time in order to be eligible for this prestigious achievement award.

“We commend St.Vincent Heart Center for this achievement award, which reflects a significant institutional commitment to improve the quality of care for their heart attack patients,” said A. Gray Ellrodt, MD, chair of the Mission: Lifeline committee and chief of medicine at the Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield, Mass. “All too many heart attack patients in the United States still fail to receive appropriate treatment for their life-threatening condition within the recommended timeframes. We must all continue this important work to streamline and coordinate regional systems of care to save lives and prevent complications.”

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