DANBURY, Conn. – The Praxair Regional Heart and Vascular Center at Danbury Hospital has earned a three-year Chest Pain Center with PCI accreditation from the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care.
The designation means the hospital uses a specialized treatment called percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) as the primary treatment for acute heart attacks. This ensures patients experiencing an acute heart attack receive rapid treatment in the cardiac catheterization laboratory to minimize damage to the heart muscle, according to a press release.
EMS teams routinely initiate “heart attack alerts” in the field to help hospital teams prepare for a patient’s arrival at Danbury Hospital for advanced cardiac services, according to a press release. In addition to electronic transmission of electrocardiograms performed “in the field,” EMS and first responders make every moment count as they transport the patient to the hospital, according to a press release.
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, with 600,000 deaths annually. More than 700,000 people experience heart attacks each year and more than five million Americans visit hospitals each year with chest pain.
“When it comes to heart attacks, time is muscle, so awareness of the important signs and symptoms is essential so patients and family members know when to activate 9-1-1 and get to the hospital quickly," Dr. Hal Wasserman, director of the cardiac catheterization laboratory at Danbury Hospital, said in a press release. "Using the 9-1-1 system is a safer way to get to the hospital. It also allows first responders to begin life-saving treatment immediately and alert the emergency cardiovascular teams at the hospital with a diagnostic electrocardiogram and prepare accordingly."
By achieving SCPC’s Chest Pain Center with PCI Accreditation status, Danbury Hospital’s Praxair Regional Heart and Vascular Center demonstrated expertise in the following areas:
- Integrating the emergency department with the local emergency medical system.
- Assessing, diagnosing, and treating patients quickly.
- Effectively treating patients who are lower risk heart attack but have other causes of chest pain.
- Continually seeking to improve processes and procedures.
- Ensuring the competence and training of Accredited Chest Pain Center personnel.
- Having a functional design that promotes optimal patient care.
- Supporting community outreach programs that educate the public to promptly seek medical care if they display symptoms of a possible heart attack.