Topeka (WIBW) - Both Topeka hospitals have earned accolades recently for their skill in cardiac care.
Among the most recent, Stormont-Vail earned accreditation for both chest pain and heart failure from the Society of Chest Pain Centers. The designations recognize their ability to quickly recognize a heart attack and get the blood flowing again.
Cotton-O'Neil cardiologist Dr. Lambert Wu says the process starts with potential patients recognizing their symptoms and calling 911. Every minute you stay at home and don't get treatment, he says, more heart muscle is being damaged, leading to less blood flow and more devastating impact.
Stormont-Vail emergency department medical director Michelle Schierling says emergency responders are able to do an EKG in a person's house and send it to the hospital. If it indicates a heart attack, an entire team can be ready to respond when the person responds.
It all means patients can expect to get blood flowing through a blocked artery more quickly. The national standard for the so-called door to balloon time is 90 minutes.; the national average is 51 minutes; at Stormont, it's 45 minutes. Dr. Wu says the speed means the survival rate is better and patients go home with improved quality of life.
The care extends even after patients leave the hospital. Staff follow up and work with patients on a diet and exercise plan, medication issues. and heart attack prevention.