Sharon Regional Health System

Sharon Regional exceeds national guidelines for heart attack care

James Ryan, M.D., board certified interventional cardiologist and medical director of The Heart & Vascular Institute, is shown with two team members, left, Michele Wygant, RTR, certified lab technician, and Debbie Yeager, RN, BSN, clinical manager of cardiology services in The Heart Institute's Cath Lab 2.

Members of Sharon Regional's emergency angioplasty team are available 24/7 to rapidly open a blocked artery that is causing a heart attack.

Sharon Regional offers the County's only advanced care for a heart attack

If you or a loved one experience any type of chest discomfort it is wise to assume it is your heart until proven otherwise. Heart attacks affect all people differently – some people may have crushing or squeezing chest pain, nausea, and sweating. Other people may feel only mild sensations of tightness, fullness, shortness of breath, feeling tired or short of breath. Arm, jaw, neck, teeth and ear pain have all occurred when someone is having a heart attack…Whatever the symptoms, don't delay, don't hope it will go away, call 911 and go to Sharon Regional's Emergency Care Center.

Heart disease kills more people in the U.S. than any other cause of death. Studies show that early identification of symptoms and treatment greatly improve the chances of survival and subsequent quality of life, as well as limit the damage done to your heart.

Sharon Regional offers the County's only advanced care for heart attacks. Our Emergency Care Center is specially equipped to diagnose and rapidly treat patients with a suspected heart attack. A team of highly specialized doctors, nurses and technologists are on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to respond at a moment's notice. When a patient arrives at our Emergency Care Center having a heart attack, this special team is activated and arrives quickly to open the blocked artery that is causing the heart attack.

Studies show that people have only about 60 minutes to get a blocked artery opened. The American College of Cardiology and the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services have established guidelines for how soon a hospital must treat a patient having a heart attack once they arrive to the hospital. The guidelines recommend that patients be taken to the cath lab to have their artery opened within 90 minutes of arrival to the hospital. This is known as the "door to balloon" time.

Sharon Regional is the only hospital in Mercer County that can offer this lifesaving treatment.

At other area hospitals, patients are stabilized and held until transportation can be arranged to Pittsburgh or other city for advanced treatment. Our Emergency Care Center and Cath Lab Team have consistently met the requirement for "door to balloon" time, and in fact often post times considerably less than this 90-minute national standard.

Sharon Regional also is participating in D2B: An Alliance for Quality, which is a new Guidelines Applied in Practice program launched by the American College of Cardiology to save time and save lives by reducing the door-to-balloon times in U.S. hospitals performing primary PCI. The American Heart Association and the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute are partners in this effort.

Remember . . . for emergency heart attack treatment, there's only one hospital in Mercer County with the expertise and technology that can offer this lifesaving treatment, and that's Sharon Regional.