The Avera Heart Hospital first reached Chest Pain Center Accreditation status in 2004 (they have to reapply every 2 years) and since then team leaders and staff scrutinize and streamline their process so that each patient coming in to the emergency department receives the same quality of care during a critical time.
Dr. John Jerstad is the Avera Heart Hospital Chest Pain Center Director. He says, "What we are trying to do is save as much time as we can when someone comes in with a heart attack to get them the appropriate therapy they need."
Avera Heart Hospital Emergency Department Director Jean Skonhovd, RN says, "We use evidence based medicine and we follow a certain protocol to make sure we don't miss anything. That's very important because if we don't go quite far enough down the process we could miss something and the patient could go home and have very bad consequences."
So many people make the mistakes of getting a ride to the hospital instead of calling 911 and end up coding before they get to the ER. Jean says there is nothing the person driving can do for them so it's very important to an ambulance.
Dr. Jerstad says, "It's calculated this year over a million Americans will have a heart attack or recurrent heart attack this year. 38% of them will die and half of them will die in the first hour. Time is heart muscle, seconds save lives so get here right away."
So even though the emergency department has met and exceeded industry standards, they can only put those policies into motion if you get here at the onset of a heart attack. Better yet, they say, take good care of yourself so you don't have to come here.
HuHot for Hearts - A night out for a good cause
You can have a night out on the town and support a good cause at the same time July 20th. Avera Heart Hospital employees will be raising funds for the American Heart Association by staffing HuHot Mongolian Grill on 41st Street in Sioux Falls. All tips and 10% of meals will be donated to the American Heart Association. The fundraiser runs from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Plus they will be selling 50/50 raffle tickets. If you win you keep half the kitty.
To find out more about symptoms of a heart attack check out: