BY MELINDA WILLIAMS
Clipper Staff Writer
BOUNTIFUL — Accreditation as a Chest Pain Center will allow Lakeview Hospital’s heart patients to move through the system faster and hopefully save more lives.
Lakeview was one of five MountainStar hospitals in Utah to receive the accreditation.
To receive it, each facility was required to have protocols in place “that will move a patient through the system, as soon as possible,” said Dr. Bill Swiler, who is in charge of Lakeview’s emergency room.
“Around here we say time is (heart) muscle,” Swiler said.
Time is of the essence when treating heart patients, those involved in the accreditation agree.
The sooner treatment begins, the greater the chance a patient can survive.
Because of that, the accreditation affects all aspects of heart patient care from the initial 911 call through diagnosis and treatment.
The accreditation required emergency medical services to also be evaluated.
A new, 12-level EKG system gives paramedics the ability to send the hospital an EKG before the patient ever reaches it, said South Davis Metro Fire Agency Chief Jim Rampton.
“It’s a partnership in which we work to provide the quickest service we can give,” Rampton said.
The EKG means emergency room personnel can be ready to take a patient straight into the catheterization laboratory as soon as they arrive, where an angiogram can be done to show doctors the extent of damage to the heart.
“We’re on call 24/7,” said Cydney VanDyke, the chest pain coordinator for the hospital. Personnel can generally complete an angiogram in 90 minutes or less.
It’s not just emergency personnel who are involved in the process.
“All of our medical personnel have been trained to spot the signs of a heart attack,” VanDyke said.
That means if a visitor to the hospital, or someone waiting to be treated for another condition, has a heart attack, the protocol is in place for emergency measures to be taken then and there, she said.
For the protocols to work, patients must take care of themselves as well.
Both VanDyke and Rampton warn against patients having family members bring them to the hospital or trying to drive themselves.
“If you’re having chest pressure, pain in the jaws or down an arm, or if you’re dizzy and the symptoms go away when you sit down, you should be calling 911,” VanDyke said.
“It’s quicker to call 911 than to have someone else drive you or to drive yourself,” Rampton added.
Should you have another attack while enroute to the hospital, it could cause an automobile accident, or at least slow the response, Rampton said.
Even the time getting into the hospital once you’re parked is time that could put a patient in danger of an attack, Rampton said.
“We have the equipment and can analyze the situation,” he said.