Chest pain – it may be a sign of a life-threatening medical emergency, or it may be an uncomfortable symptom of a minor and temporary ailment. Lehigh Valley Hospital (LVH)–Hazleton and LVH–Schuylkill have received industry accreditation, validating the high level of comprehensive care for chest pain that you will receive there.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 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 atypical symptoms. Other heart attack symptoms include, but are not limited to, 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.
Commitment to a growing need
The American College of Cardiology (ACC) recently accredited LVH–Hazleton and LVH–Schuylkill as Chest Pain Centers. The ACC recognizes each hospital for its demonstrated expertise and commitment in treating patients with chest pain. The Chest Pain Center accreditation is based on rigorous onsite evaluation of the staff’s ability to evaluate, diagnose and treat patients who may be experiencing a heart attack.
“Lehigh Valley Hospital–Hazleton and Lehigh Valley Hospital–Schuylkill have demonstrated a commitment to providing the community with excellent heart care,” says Phillip D. Levy, MD, FACC, chair of the ACC Accreditation Management Board. “ACC Accreditation Services is proud to award Lehigh Valley Hospital–Hazleton and Lehigh Valley Hospital–Schuylkill Chest Pain Center Accreditation.”
Hospitals that have earned ACC Chest Pain Center Accreditation have proven exceptional competency in treating patients with heart attack symptoms. They have streamlined their 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.
“Time is muscle – minutes can save lives when patients present to the Emergency Department and are having a heart attack or stroke,” says Andrew Miller, DO, Vice Chair, Emergency Medicine, LVH–Hazleton.
“By evaluating and intervening quicker, we hope to show improved results for patients. We know, with a cardiac event, there is no time to lose,” says Marc Bonin, DO, Medical Director of the Emergency Room at LVH–Schuylkill.
What does it mean to be a Chest Pain Center?
Hospitals receiving Chest Pain Center Accreditation from the ACC must take part in a multi-faceted clinical process that involves: completing a gap analysis, examining variances of care, developing an action plan; a rigorous onsite review; and monitoring for sustained success. Improved methods and strategies of caring for patients include streamlining processes, implementing of guidelines and standards, and adopting best practices in the care of patients experiencing the signs and symptoms of a heart attack. Facilities that achieve accreditation meet or exceed an array of stringent criteria and have organized a team of doctors, nurses, clinicians, and other administrative staff that earnestly support the efforts leading to better patient education and improved patient outcomes.
LVH–Hazleton opened a new emergency room (ER) in 2019. The new facility is double the size of the previous ER. LVH–Hazleton has been a Primary Stroke Center accredited by the Healthcare Facilities Accreditation Program (HFAP) since 2008 and was recently awarded the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association Get With The Guidelines® Stroke Gold Plus Award. The Stroke-Alert Program ensures that potential stroke patients are quickly assessed and undergo a CT scan in 20 minutes or less. Patients also benefit from 24/7 MedEvac services and a Level IV Trauma Center.
The ER at LVH–Schuylkill was rebuilt and expanded in 2018. Recently, The Joint Commission awarded Primary Stroke Center certification to LVH–Schuylkill for its ability and capability to treat stroke patients.
In addition, the Cardiac Rehabilitation Unit at LVH–Schuylkill received re-accreditation by the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation (AACVPR). The center has maintained this distinction for more than 20 years.