A dozen central Iowa hospitals are teaming up to provide faster, better care to heart attack victims. Research has shown minutes can make a significant difference in saving a cardiac patient’s life. Susan Johnson-Brown, director of the Level One Heart Attack Program, says redundancies and time-wasters are being eliminated to get immediate, complete treatment for people who come into the hospital with chest pain.In the past, it might have taken hours or the next day before the patient was fully diagnosed and treated, which could have contributed to patients’ complications and even death. Now, Johnson-Brown says, the goal is 90 minutes door-to-door. Patients who enter a rural central Iowa hospital with a possible heart attack will be put on a fast-track and treated more like a trauma victim, according to Dr. Mark Tannenbaum, medical director of the Des Moines-based program.Dr. Tannenbaum says “That patient will be transported as quickly as possible by either ambulance or helicopter directly to Mercy Medical Center (in Des Moines) and that individual will be taken directly to the cath lab and bypass our emergency department in order to expedite their care.” Mercy is working with: Mercy Capitol in Des Moines, Boone County Hospital in Boone, Pella Regional Health Center, Skiff Medical Center in Newton, Mercy Medical Center in Centerville, Dallas County Health Systems in Perry, Davis County Hospital in Bloomfield, Grinnell Regional Medical Center, Knoxville Area Community Hospital, Marshalltown Medical and Surgical Center and Story County Medical Center in Nevada.
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