Durham Regional receives award for heart attack care

Michael Komada, MD

At Durham Regional, we are dedicated to providing timely, expert care to heart attack patients. This takes a team and great collaboration across many departments within the hospital, as well as with local EMS and other facilities.

2012 Mission: Lifeline Silver AwardDurham Regional recently received the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline Silver Receiving Quality Achievement Award. This award recognizes the hospital’s commitment and success in implementing an exceptional standard of care for heart attack patients.

We are excited to be recognized for this achievement, and I am proud of our dedication to continuous improvement in cardiac care.

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 involved in Mission: Lifeline are part of a system that makes sure STEMI patients get the right care they need as quickly as possible. Mission: Lifeline focuses on improving the system of care for these patients and at the same time improving care for all heart attack patients.

As a “STEMI Receiving Hospital,” Durham Regional meets high standards of performance in quick and appropriate treatment of STEMI patients to open the blocked artery. Before discharge, patients start 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.

In 2011, Durham Regional received the Bronze Quality Achievement Award. Bronze represented one quarter of meeting or exceeding quality measures. By receiving Silver, Durham Regional achieved four quarters (or one year) of consecutively meeting all the goals outlined by the American Heart Association with the focus on first medical contact to angioplasty in less than 90 minutes.

For information about our heart services, visit durhamregional.org/heart.

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