Wheeling Hospital again has been recognized as one of the top hospitals in the United States for its quick and effective treatment of the deadliest type of heart attack - a STEMI, or ST Elevation Acute Myocardial Infarction.
The hospital earned the Silver Performance Achievement Award from the American Heart Association for meeting the standards of the AHA's Mission: Lifeline program. Wheeling Hospital previously received awards in 2010 and 2011.
Mission: Lifeline was created to help ensure prompt, evidence-based care for STEMI patients. The award recognizes Wheeling Hospital's commitment and success in implementing a higher standard of care for patients experiencing this type of profoundly life-threatening emergency.
A STEMI involves blockage of one of the heart's major arteries that normally supplies oxygen and nutrient-rich blood to the heart muscle itself. When heart muscle is deprived of both, it begins to die, which can lead to permanent weakening of the heart or death.
According to the AHA, each year nearly 250,000 people experience a STEMI. Unfortunately, a significant number do not receive prompt care critical in restoring blood flow.
"Achieving this award takes a well-designed STEMI treatment plan that is effectively executed. I'm proud of our emergency/trauma, cath lab, critical care, cardiac rehab and other personnel. Their commitment to saving lives is reflected in this award. The staff members are truly dedicated to their jobs, from the time the patient arrives to the time they leave the hospital," said Ron Violi, Wheeling Hospital chief executive officer.
Dr. Robert Fanning, the hospital's Cardiac Services director, added, "The timely management of STEMI is a life and death matter requiring a cath lab staff to be available around the clock we thank them for their dedication. We also appreciate the work of emergency squad partners and referring emergency departments, who render care to the patient until they reach our doors. The teamwork between the hospital and the emergency squads is tremendous."
But treatment does not end after the initial crucial hours and hospitalization.
"Before patients at Wheeling Hospital are discharged, they are started on aggressive risk reduction therapies in the hospital, such as cholesterol-lowering drugs, aspirin, ACE inhibitors and beta-blockers, cardiac rehab and, when appropriate, receive smoking cessation counseling," said Andrea Dobkin, cardiovascular services manager.
"We not only treat STEMIs, but other types of heart attacks and chest pain 24 hours a day."
"These national certifications and accreditations are not easily achieved. They demonstrate Wheeling Hospital's higher level of expertise in treating heart attack patients. They reassure the public that we're ready at any time to treat chest pain and heart attack - and we're very good at doing our jobs," noted Fanning.