Memorial Hospital Receives Award For Heart Attack Care

Monday, May 20, 2013

Memorial Hospital has received the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline® Silver Receiving Quality Achievement Award. The award recognizes Memorial’s commitment and success in implementing an exceptional standard of care for heart attack patients.


Each year in the United States, nearly 300,000 people have a STEMI, or ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction, the most severe form of heart attack.

A STEMI occurs when a blood clot completely blocks an artery to the heart. To prevent death, it’s critical to immediately restore blood flow, either by surgically opening the blocked vessel or by giving clot-busting medication.


Hospitals participating in Mission: Lifeline are part of a system that makes sure STEMI patients get the correct care as quickly as possible. Mission: Lifeline focuses on improving the system of care for STEMI patients as well as improving care for all heart attack patients.


The national goal is 90 minutes from the time a person comes through the door of the emergency department to the time that a patient is receiving a catheterization.  Memorial far exceeds that goal with an average time of 45.9 minutes that is one of the fastest in the nation demonstrating Memorial’s high standards of performance in quick and appropriate treatment of STEMI patients to open the blocked artery. Before they’re discharged, patients are started on aggressive risk reduction therapies such as cholesterol-lowering drugs, aspirin, ACE inhibitors and beta-blockers and they receive smoking cessation counseling if needed.  Hospitals must adhere to these guidelines-based measures at a set level for a designated period of time to be eligible for the achievement awards. 

“Memorial Hospital 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 the physicians and clinical staff to improve the outcomes of our cardiac patients,” said Eric Conn, MD, cardiologist with The Chattanooga Heart Institute at Memorial. “We’re pleased to be recognized for our dedication and achievements in cardiac care.  It takes an entire team of EMS workers, emergency department staff, other clinical staff and physicians to make this goal attainable.”

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