Chest Pain Center
Hancock Regional Hospital is committed to enhancing the cardiac health of Hancock and surrounding counties through community education, collaboration with EMS, and internal process development. We believe our associates are the best advocates for cardiac health and your knowledge of cardiac disease and internal process is crucial to the advancement of cardiac health in our community.
What is a Heart Attack?
Cardiac disease remains the leading cause of death in the United States claiming the lives of 452,000 each year. A heart attack occurs when a vessel supplying blood to the heart becomes blocked, typically by a blood clot. People with coronary artery disease (CAD) have a build up of plaque formed by fat, cholesterol, and other substances causing blood flow to be reduced. If the plaque ruptures a blood clot forms, stopping the flow of blood to an area of the heart. Without blood, the heart muscle is damaged and eventually dies.
Heart Attack Warning Signs
- Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of your chest. It lasts more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back.
- Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, your neck, jaw or stomach.
- Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.
- Other signs such as breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea, or lightheadedness.
To Reduce the Risk of Heart Disease
- Don't smoke, and avoid other people's tobacco smoke
- Treat high blood pressure if you have it
- Eat foods that are low in saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol and salt
- By physically active
- Keep your weight under control
- Get regular medical check-ups
- Take medicine as prescribed
- Control you blood sugar if you have diabetes
Why Call 911?
Because every minute counts when having a heart attack, it seems that getting ED as quickly as possible would be everyone’s first choice. Unfortunately, more than 50 percent of all patients experiencing chest pain walk into the ED rather than calling 911. The reasons for this are numerous, ranging from the instinct to just jumping in the car and driving to the nearest hospital to the misunderstanding that the emergency squad is just a transport vehicle. The fact remains that every minute counts, and calling 911 starts treatment earlier.
- 911 dispatchers are often trained to not only locate you quickly but also assist you in early treatment options.
- In many areas of the country, Emergency Medical Services (EMS) can diagnosis a heart attack by using an electrocardiogram (ECG) and also initiate early treatment.
- Arriving by ambulance to the ED helps to ensure that you will not wait to be seen by a physician. Many patients who experience chest pain drive themselves, only to find that they may wait in the ED lobby until they can see the doctor. Do not let this happen to you.
- EMS is able to radio ahead to the ED that you are on your way. This enables the ED staff to be ready for you when you arrive through their doors.
What is a Chest Pain Center?
A chest pain center isn't necessarily a brick and mortar structure, but rather a systematized care approach for patients with ACS (acute coronary syndrome). This process of care begins with EMS(emergency medical services) personnel and continues with hospital services. A coordinated approach to care means that EMS, emergency department, cardiology, and inpatient services work together to provide excellent, efficient, and process focused cardiac care.
90 Minutes to Treat
Benchmark data from American College of Cardiology (ACC) has resulted in hospitals being held accountable for the amount of time between patient presentation in the emergency department and heart attack treatment in the cardiac catheterization lab. Hospitals are expected to begin treatment in the catheterization lab within 90 minutes of patient arrival. In order to be successful, associates must understand the process and recognize their role in the care of cardiac patients. Research shows that early treatment is
associated with lower mortality rates and better outcomes for heart attack patients. Knowing your role in the process helps Hancock Regional Hospital provide the best cardiac care to our patients. Always take chest pain complaints seriously and act immediately to give your patient a better chance for recovery. If you are unsure of your role in the process, contact Judy Hall, Chest Pain Center Coordinator or Jeremy Burnette in Cardiovascular Services for more information.
Hancock Regional Hospital's Plan
Hancock Regional Hospital has a fully equipped cardiac catheterization lab adjacent to the emergency department. Heart attack patients are taken directly to the catheterization lab Monday through Friday from 7:00 am to 5:00 pm. The emergency department physicians send out a heart attack page upon the patients arrival which notifies cardiologists,catheterization lab staff, and leadership of the emergency. The time for treatment at Hancock Regional Hospital is well below the 90 minute benchmark set by ACC due to multidisciplinary process review and enhancement. During off hours heart attack patients are transferred to St. Vincent Heart Center of Indiana for coronary intervention. Hancock Regional Hospital has worked closely with local EMS to decrease door to transfer times. One example is our EMS service can send our emergency department the EKG during transport, so that if the patient is having a heart attack, the emergency department and the cath lab can prepare for the patient prior to the patient entering our door.