Heart & Vascular Services
Chest Pain Center
Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola has earned accreditation from the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care (SCPC) as a Chest Pain Center. Sacred Heart was designated by SCPC as a Cycle 4 Chest Pain Center and one of only 52 centers nationwide to hold that highest level of accreditation.
During an onsite review, Sacred Heart demonstrated a higher level of expertise and ability to quickly assess and treat patients who arrive with chest pain and other symptoms of heart attack. To the larger community, this means that processes are in place that meet strict criteria aimed at:
- Real-time communication with EMS services before arrival to Sacred Heartís Emergency Department
- Treating patients more quickly during the critical window of time when rapid treatment can prevent or minimize damage to the heart muscle.
- Improving the monitoring of patients when it is not certain that they are having a heart attack. Such observation helps ensure that patients are neither sent home too early nor needlessly admitted.
- 24 hours a day, 7 days a week readiness
- Ensuring Chest Pain Program personnel competency and training
- Community outreach and public education
The Chest Pain Center includes a newly renovated 10-bed observation unit located behind the hospital's Emergency Department. The Chest Pain Center's staff of doctors and nurses has skills in both emergency medicine and cardiac care.† The staff analyzes the early warning symptoms of heart attacks, monitors patients and if needed, provides the patient with immediate access to advanced procedures to treat blockages in the coronary arteries.
In cases where a patient is having a heart attack, Sacred Heart has been able to reduce the time interval between arrival at the Emergency Department and the time a cardiologist opens a patient's blocked artery with a balloon angioplasty procedure. While the national standard is a 90-minute interval, Sacred Heart's Chest Pain Center has reduced its average ''door-to-balloon'' time to less than 60 minutes.
The Chest Pain Center encompasses the entire continuum of care for the heart patient. That includes integrating the Chest Pain Center with dispatch centers, Emergency Medical Systems, the emergency department, cath lab, and the community outreach efforts of Sacred Heart's cardiac nurse navigators.
|Heart Attack Warning Signs |
Some heart attacks are sudden and intense. But most heart attacks start slowly, with mild pain or discomfort. Often people affected aren't sure what's wrong and wait too long before getting help. Here are signs that can signal a heart attack:
If you are experiencing these symptoms, call 911 immediately and ask to be taken to Sacred Heart Hospitalís Chest Pain Center.
- Chest discomfort. Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or that goes away and comes back. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain.
- Discomfort in other areas of the upper body. Symptoms can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
- Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.
- Other signs may include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or light-headedness.