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When Chest Pain Strikes, Every Minute Matters

August 08, 2019

When it comes to a heart attack, there is a saying that ‘time is muscle’ and every little bit counts. A few minutes here and there can add up quickly – in terms of saving a life and in saving a heart. With three American College of Cardiology (ACC) accredited chest pain centers in its arsenal, West Tennessee Healthcare™ is working to ensure that patients across West Tennessee receive coordinated, timely and effective treatment of acute, as well as non-acute, cardiac events.

Dyersburg Hospital, Volunteer Hospital in Martin and Jackson Madison County General Hospital have undergone the rigorous
process to achieve ACC Chest Pain Center accreditation and have proven exceptional competency in treating patients with heart attack symptoms. This process means emergency medical services, hospitals, physicians, nurses, and other personnel have met numerous criteria and demonstrated that all work together in a coordinated effort to provide the best possible outcome for patients experiencing chest pain and acute heart attacks. Multidisciplinary teams are also in place and sustainable quality improvement is evident.

“Achieving this accreditation shows the dedication West Tennessee Healthcare has to take the best care of our patients,” said Deann Thelen, Vice President of Hospital Services for West Tennessee Healthcare. “As accreditation must be renewed every three years, we are constantly working to identify areas of improvement to ensure we maintain exceptional quality of care for cardiac patients.”

West Tennessee Heart & Vascular Center (WTHVC) at Jackson-Madison County General Hospital and Dyersburg Hospital have primary PCI available 24/7 every day of the year and have achieved the Chest Pain Center with Primary PCI Accreditation. Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI), also known as coronary angioplasty, is a non-surgical procedure that helps to open narrowed arteries in the heart either with balloon angioplasty or stents.

“Building and maintaining close relationships with medical providers across West Tennessee is a critical step to ensuring that specific protocols are followed from the moment a patient in distress is treated,” said Thelen. “Regardless of where a patient lives, coordinated efforts among first responders, community hospitals and our Chest Pain Center facilities ensure faster response times, specialized care and improved outcomes. This partnership is an essential key in saving lives and improving outcomes for heart attack victims from all over West Tennessee.”