News | January 01, 2009

Texas Health Receives Chest Pain Center Designation

January 2, 2009 - The Society of Chest Pain Centers designated Texas Health Arlington Memorial Hospital yesterday as a Cycle III Chest Pain Center - the highest accreditation possible for treatment of chest pain - making it the first hospital in Texas and one of a handful in the world to receive such a designation.

The designation means that Texas Health Arlington Memorial ranks among the best in the world at rapid recognition and collaborative treatment of heart attack. Nationally, accreditation by the Society of Chest Pain Centers is linked to better patient outcomes and more lives saved, according to an Emory University School of Medicine study published in the American Journal of Cardiology in July.

"Every second counts when it comes to treating a heart attack -- time is heart muscle," said Hoyt Frenzel, M.D., medical director of the Emergency Department and co-chair of the Chest Pain Center at Texas Health Arlington Memorial.

Collaboration between emergency medical providers and the hospital's emergency department, cardiac catheterization lab, cardiac intensive care unit, telemetry and cardiac rehabilitation unit is critical to the success of chest pain centers. Paramedics administer life-saving therapies even before the patient reaches the hospital, and physicians and nurses in the emergency room and cardiac catheterization laboratory begin preparing for the patient before he or she arrives.

"We're innovators when it comes to treating heart patients," said Kirk King, FACHE, president of Texas Health Arlington Memorial Hospital. "We have worked with local emergency medical providers, who now administer aspirin therapy in the field before the patient arrives at the emergency room door. The responding paramedics also transmit an electrocardiogram from the patients' home to the ER. Once the patient arrives at the hospital, we perform diagnostic cardiac tests at the bedside, which allows us to reach a definitive diagnosis quicker."

The average amount of time that passes from the moment a heart attack patient arrives at Texas Health's emergency department until physicians have successfully completed the procedure to reopen a blocked artery is 66 minutes. The national target is 90 minutes.

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