Central Maine Medical Center has been recognized by The American College of Cardiology for its demonstrated expertise and commitment in treating patients with chest pain. CMMC was awarded the Chest Pain Center Accreditation with Primary PCI based on rigorous onsite evaluation of the staff’s ability to evaluate, diagnose and treat patients who may be experiencing a heart attack.
Hospitals that have earned this distinction have proven exceptional competency in treating patients with heart attack symptoms; these hospitals have primary PCI, or coronary angioplasty, available round the clock every day of the year.
“We’ve been working to provide our patients with state-of-the-art cardiovascular care during that critical window of time when we can preserve the integrity of the heart muscle intact. This is another step in our continuing efforts to optimize the care and outcomes of patients,” said Irene Hughes, RN, BSN, the emergency medicine clinical quality specialist for Central Maine Medical Center.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 730,000 Americans suffer a heart attack each year. The most common symptom of a heart attack for both men and women is chest pain or discomfort. However, women are more likely to have other symptoms including, tingling or discomfort in one or both arms, back, shoulder, neck or jaw, shortness of breath, cold sweat, unusual tiredness, heartburn-like feeling, nausea or vomiting, sudden dizziness and fainting.
Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), also known as coronary angioplasty, is a non-surgical procedure that opens narrowed or blocked coronary arteries with a balloon to relieve symptoms of heart disease or reduce heart damage during or after a heart attack.
As required to meet ACC criteria, CMMC has streamlined its systems from admission to evaluation to diagnosis and treatment all the way through to appropriate post-discharge care and recommendations and assistance in patient lifestyle changes. In addition, the medical center has formal agreements with other facilities that regularly refer heart attack patients to their facility for primary PCI.
“Central Maine Medical has demonstrated its commitment to providing Mainers with excellent heart care,” said Phillip D. Levy, MD, FACC, chair of the ACC Accreditation Management Board.
The accreditation is just one in a series of recognitions for quality cardiac care provided by Central Maine Healthcare, which through its Central Maine Heart and Vascular Institute offers advanced cardiac and vascular diagnostic and treatment services both in Lewiston and at other locations throughout central and western Maine.
In July, CMMC was named an Aetna Institute of Quality for Cardiac Care.