When patients arrive at Fairfield Medical Center with chest pain, the goal is to get them diagnosed and treated as quickly as possible. Because of this commitment, FMC was recently recognized as an Accredited Chest Pain Center by the Society of Chest Pain Centers, which demonstrates FMC’s commitment to national heart care standards.
“The reason people have a heart attack is a blocked coronary artery,” said Dr. Russell Rudy, Emergency Department physician at FMC. “The quicker the artery can be opened, the less damage will be done to the heart.”
An ST elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) is a type of heart attack caused by a blockage in the heart. The blockage leads to either no blood flow or slow blood flow. The longer the heart goes without blood flow, the longer it goes without oxygen, causing heart muscle to die.
Patients can arrive one of two ways to the Emergency Department: by ambulance or by walking in.
People who are transported by ambulance are given an EKG in the ambulance and the results are transmitted directly to FMC. When they arrive at FMC, those patients are taken directly to the cardiac cath lab. Patients who walk in to the Emergency Department are seen immediately by a nurse and given an EKG right away to determine if they are having a heart attack. If there are any signs of a heart attack, a STEMI alert is called to get the patient quickly to the cath lab.
When someone is experiencing chest pain or other symptoms of a heart attack, the safest and quickest way to get to the hospital is by calling 911,” said Rhonda Wells, Fairfield Medical Center Accredited Chest Pain Center coordinator. “During a heart attack, 85 percent of the damage to the heart occurs within the first two hours.”
If you or a loved one is having heart attack symptoms, take an aspirin and call 911.
Mildred Hines entered the doors of Fairfield Medical Center, and within 27 minutes, had had her heart procedure in the cardiac catheterization lab. The national standard is 90 minutes.
Mildred was suffering from ST elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI)—a type of heart attack. During a STEMI, every minute matters.“A STEMI is essentially either no coronary blood flow or slow blood flow where a clot has formed,” said Dr. Jeremy Buckley, interventional cardiologist at FMC and chair of the Gordon B. Snider Cardiovascular Institute. “The longer you go without blood flow, the longer your heart goes without oxygen. Heart muscle dies without oxygen. The quicker you re-establish blood flow, the better chance of survival and lower the risk of heart failure, recurrent heart attacks and strokes the patient will have.”
At the time of her heart attack, Hines was at her doctor’s office for a routine appointment. While with her doctor, she passed out. She was breathing but unresponsive. An electrocardiogram (EKG) at the facility revealed it was her heart.
When Hines arrived at FMC, she was taken straight to the cardiac catheterization lab. When a STEMI patient is being transported to FMC, a STEMI alert is called, notifying the STEMI team a patient is on the way. The patient arrives at the hospital and bypasses the Emergency Department, saving precious time.
“At Fairfield Medical Center, we have put a series of protocols in place to speed patients from point A to point B—with point B being the cath lab,” said Dr. Buck- ley, who was recently selected as co-chair of Ohio Mission: Lifeline®, which focuses on pre-hospital treatment protocols for STEMI and other heart attack patients. Fairfield Medical Center was recently awarded the prestigious Ohio Mission: Lifeline Bronze Performance Achievement Award for commitment to high-quality care for heart attack patients and decreasing the time in which these patients receive treatment across the state of Ohio. To read more about this award, click here.
Dr. Buckley performed Hines’ heart catheterization and balloon angioplasty, a procedure where a thin balloon-tipped catheter is inserted into the blocked artery and blown up to relieve the blockage and re-establish blood flow.
Mildred’s daughter, Tammie Barker, has a hard time remembering what happened the night of her mother’s heart attack. She says everything happened so quickly that it’s kind of a blur. “If it wasn’t for the team being so quick during my mother’s heart attack, I don’t think she’d be here right now,” Barker said. “From what I was told, there is no heart damage. If they hadn’t been so quick, she would have heart damage.”
Because Hines was at a doctor’s office, she was able to get an EKG immediately. Because time is critical during a heart attach for good outcomes, Fairfield Medical Center recently purchased remote EKG receiving stations so emergency medical services can send EKGs directly to the emergency department at FMC – saving precious minutes.
Fairfield Medical Center’s Gordon B. Snider Cardiovascular Institute brings together specialists in heart and vascular care, including cardiologists, interventional radiologists, cardiothoracic and vascular surgeons, kidney specialists, as well as internal medicine and family practice physicians for the advancement of care in Southeastern Ohio.
Emergency Cardiac Care
As an Accredited Chest Pain Center by the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care (SCPC), Fairfield Medical Center has been recognized for excellence in the care provided to patients who arrive at FMC with chest pain. Through a collaboration with emergency medical providers, Fairfield Medical Center has an alert system to notify necessary medical professionals when a heart attack patient is going to be arriving at the Center. This alert system allows for quick medical treatment, which essential for the best outcomes for heart attack patients.
Diagnostic Cardiology Services
Fairfield Medical Center provides comprehensive non-invasive diagnostic services, such as:
Tilt table testing
Cardiac event and holter monitoring
Pulmonary function testing (PFT)
Radial access available
Interventional Cardiology Services
The dedicated interventional cardiologists at Fairfield Medical Center perform innovative procedures in the cardiac catheterization lab. These include:
Radial access available
Fairfield Medical Center’s cardiovascular surgeons cardiovascular surgeries using state-of-the-art technology, including minimally invasive techniques.
Coronary artery bypass (CABG)
Valve repair and replacement (including minimally invasive)
Maze (minimally invasive)
Electrophysiology & Arrhythmia Services
Fairfield Medical Center offers specialized care for patients with heart rhythm disorders. This includes:
Pacemaker and ICD implantation
Cardiac resyncrhonization therapy
Fairfield Medical Center’s vascular surgeons perform comprehensive state-of-the-art diagnostics and interventions for the vascular system. These include:
Peripheral artery disease treatment, such as laser athrectomy
Non-invasive vascular testing
Peripheral arteriograms, angioplasties and stenting
Peripheral venograms, angioplasties and stenting
Abdominal and thoracic endovascular aortic repair
Pulmonary embolus studies and interventions
Carotid artery stenting
Carotid artery endarterectomy
Dialysis access and interventions
The Snider Cardiovascular Institute is a patient-focused, evidence-based and quality-driven team of physicians that work to reduce door to balloon times across the state of Ohio. A board leads the Snider Cardiovascular Institute with a variety of representatives from the medical field involved in the delivery of cardiovascular services. Each board member leads a committee that has been assigned a specific quality goal for improvement.
Recent Accomplishments of the Institute Include:
- Establish a clinical research program
- Launch a renal access program
- Reduce the time between the first medical contact with a heart attack patient and balloon angioplasty
- Reduce hospital re-admissions within 30 days for congestive heart failure and heart attack patients
- Continuously improve staff satisfaction scores
- Implement evidence-based protocols for lipid management
- Implement evidence-based protocols for hypertension management
- Enhance protocol management for treatment of deep vein thrombosis and chest pain evaluation
Regular board and committee meetings are held to ensure that all physicians of the Snider Cardiovascular Institute are successfully working towards goal-based initiatives. Physicians receive annual incentives based on progress and quality improvement.
Quality Report Card:
Heart attacks often occur when blood clots cause blockages in blood vessels, depriving the heart of sufficient oxygen. Time is critical to save lives and prevent brain damage. To monitor care quality, hospitals nationwide measure the time between a patient reaching the hospital’s door and the time he or she receives a procedure to re-open the clogged artery. A common procedure used for these patients is angioplasty, which involves a balloon being inserted and expanded within the artery; hence the metric is named “Door to Balloon Time."
Hospitals also measure the overall care of heart attack patients by combining several metrics into a “Performance Composite” score, which encompasses both time-to-treatment and patient outcomes. The chart below shows the Performance Composite for both heart attack patients overall and those patients meeting door to balloon criteria.
*Quality data is provided by the National Cardiovascular Data Registry (NCDR), which is endorsed by the American College of Surgeons, American College of Emergency Physicians, Society of Chest Pain Centers, American Heart Association and the Society of Hospital Medicine.
**Data represents 2011 average.
***Data represents the 4th quarter of 2011.
The Snider Community Heart Watch and National Sudden Arrhythmia Death Syndromes (SADS) Foundation have worked together to create the Heart Safe School accreditation program. The goal of the accreditation is to increase awareness of sudden cardiac arrest and train schools on how to help a cardiac arrest victim until an ambulance arrives.
In order to obtain accreditation, each school has to meet certain criteria including a screening and risk assessment of students, CPR training for students and staff and correct locations of automated external defibrillators (AEDs). Students and staff must also successfully complete a timed drill that simulates a student or staff member collapsing from a cardiac event in which responders are required to properly use CPR and apply an AED in a timely manner.
The Snider Community Heart Watch team awarded the first Heart Safe School accreditation in the United States to West Elementary School, in Lancaster in the Spring of 2013. Preparing for accreditation takes just a few months to complete. Heart Safe Schools make for heart safe communities. More than 95 percent of sudden cardiac arrest victims die before reaching a hospital. Knowing how to properly use an AED and successfully assist a victim in times of emergency saves lives.
For more information, contact the Snider Community Heart Watch at (740) 689-6893.