Saving Lives and Heart Muscle

Stethoscope in the shape of a heart
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PALM COAST, Fla., October 23, 2017 On Oct. 11, the Flagler County emergency medical services (EMS) teams met at Florida Hospital Flagler to celebrate the excellent door-to-balloon times for heart attack patients.

In emergency cardiac care, door-to-balloon time measures the amount of time between a heart attack patients arrival to a hospital, to the time the patient receives cardiac treatment, such as a stent or angioplasty.

Nationally, a door-to-balloon time of 90 minutes or less is recognized as the gold standard of care. In Flagler County, the average door-to-balloon time is much lower at 60 minutes or less, which results in saving more heart muscle.

Every minute following a heart attack is absolutely critical, said Tammy Cornelius, special procedures manager of the cardiac catheterization lab at Florida Hospital Flagler. Unlike skin or hair, once heart muscle is damaged, it will never grow back. During a heart attack, the muscle in the heart stops working within minutes and can irreversibly die if the blocked artery is not reopened quickly.

With this in mind, the most important part of any heart attack treatment is to get to the hospital as quickly as possible for treatment.

Through rigorous training and expertise, our EMS teams have an outstanding ability to recognize potential heart attack victims in the field, helping us save more lives and restore more heart attack patients so they can ultimately lead full lives, said Jim Caggiano, Flagler County Fire Rescue outreach programs coordinator. Our team skillfully and emergently gets patients experiencing a heart attack to Florida Hospital Flagler as quickly as possible, so that the hospitals emergency medicine and cardiac teams can reopen the blocked artery via a stent or angioplasty. The effectiveness of the collaboration between Florida Hospital Flagler and the EMS professionals in our county has truly resulted in lives and hearts saved.

About Florida Hospital Flagler

Florida Hospital Flagler is a member of Adventist Health System, a faith-based health care organization with 45 hospital campuses and 8,200 licensed beds in nine states, serving more than 5 million patients annually. With a mission to extend the healing ministry of Christ, Florida Hospital Flagler has 99-beds and is one of the seven Florida Hospitals in Flagler, Lake and Volusia counties that composes the Florida Hospital Central Florida Division - North Region. As the largest hospital system in the area, the Florida Hospital Central Florida Division - North Region has 1,226 beds and more than 7,800 employees.

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