Having an accredited chest pain center comes with the important responsibility of educating the community on early heart attack care. Augusta University Health takes this to heart by arming people with potentially lifesaving information and training.
“The more people who are trained in early heart attack care, the more patients can receive the care they need in a timely manner,” said Michael Cunico, a registered nurse and chest pain coordinator at Augusta University Heart and Cardiovascular Services. “Time is muscle.”
In the eight years that the chest pain center has been accredited, Augusta University Health has focused on educating all of its employees, who have in turn shared this vital information on early heart attack care with the community through health fairs and screening events.
“Chest pain accreditation is a hospital-wide program,” Cunico said. “It belongs not only to the emergency department and cardiac catheterization lab but also to the entire organization. Everyone has to be involved to make a true chest pain center work — quality management, pharmacy, administration, the lab, etc.”
This is just one of the ways that Augusta University Health works to offer the highest level of care. In addition to housing the region’s first chest pain center, Augusta University Health is the location for Georgia’s first Level I trauma center, which provides care for accident victims. Patients can turn to Augusta University Health for prompt and complete care.
Early heart attack care
A national campaign disseminated by the Deputy Heart Attack program raises awareness of the fact that heart attacks can be prevented by recognizing warning signs (such as chest pain) and acting on them. The campaign also underscores the importance of educating the public about early heart attack symptoms and the role that local EMS, emergency departments and cardiac catheterization labs play in the timely care of the heart attack patient.