Piedmont Fayette recognized for quick response in care for heart attack victims

Piedmont Fayette Hospital has partnered with Fayette County EMS, AMR-Coweta County 911 provider and Peachtree City EMS to provide care for heart attack victims within 90 minutes.

Piedmont Fayette has developed a system that when the 911 call is placed and the EMS service arrives at the victim’s location, they can transmit an electrocardiogram to the hospital and their care is instantly initiated.

Mary McFarland, director of cardiovascular services a Piedmont Fayette, said the cardiac catheterization lab staff is on call 24/7 to meet the EMS providers at the emergency department door.

She said currently, the median time from the door of the hospital to opening a patient’s blocked artery is 38 minutes. This means Piedmont Fayette is 100 percent successful in meeting the 90 minute door to open artery critical time.

Piedmont Fayette Hospital recently qualified for the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline Bronze Quality Achievement Award. The award recognizes Piedmont Fayette’s commitment and success in implementing a higher standard of care for heart attack patients that effectively improves the survival and care of STEMI (ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction) patients.

“Piedmont Fayette is dedicated to making our cardiac unit among the best in the country, and the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline program is helping us accomplish that by making it easier for our professionals to improve the outcomes of our cardiac patients,” said Fred Willms, M.D., chief medical officer of Piedmont Fayette Hospital. “We are pleased to be recognized for our dedication and achievements in cardiac care.”

Every year, almost 250,000 people experience the STEMI type of heart attack. Unfortunately, a significant number don’t receive prompt reperfusion therapy, which is critical in restoring blood flow. Mission: Lifeline seeks to save lives by closing the gaps that separate STEMI patients from timely access to appropriate treatments and by improving the system of care for these patients and all heart attack patients.

Hospitals involved in Mission: Lifeline strive to improve care in both acute treatment measures and discharge measures. Systems of care are developed that close the gap of timely access to appropriate, life-saving treatments. Before they are discharged, appropriate patients are started on aggressive risk reduction therapies such as cholesterol-lowering drugs, aspirin, ACE inhibitors and beta-blockers in the hospital and receive smoking cessation counseling.

Hospitals like Piedmont Fayette that receive the Mission: Lifeline Bronze Performance Achievement Award have demonstrated for 90 consecutive days that at least 85 percent of eligible STEMI patients (without contraindications) are treated within specific time frames upon entering the hospital and discharged following the American Heart Association’s recommended treatment guidelines.

For more information about heart care at Piedmont Fayette Hospital, visit piedmontfayette.org.