Faster care for cardiac emergencies
An ambulance carrying a heart attack patient in Rotterdam transmits an EKG image to the Emergency Department (ED) at Ellis Hospital and to the cell phone of an on-call cardiologist. By the time the herat attack patient arrives, the cardiac team is waiting to treat the patient's blocked coronary artery. This is just one of the ways Ellis is rethinking cardiac protocols and streamlining procedures to improve response times and save lives.
Cardiac Fast Track program saves lives
Nearly half of all heart attack victims do not present classic symptoms, so early diagnosis and treatment is critical to save lives during cardiac emergencies. Ellis Medicine’s Cardiac Fast Track program and dedicated chest pain unit ensures that patients get prompt attention and appropriate treatment. Our experienced cardiac team can recognize and begin treating atypical symptoms before they do serious, irreversible damage to heart tissue. [more]
Door-to-balloon times that beat national goals
Ellis Hospital’s door-to-balloon time (the average time for a heart attack patient to get from the emergency room to the catheterization lab where we restore blood flow) averages about 30 minutes faster than the national benchmark, to provide potentially lifesaving treatments much sooner. Successes like our door-to-balloon times are important milestones in our ongoing commitment to innovation and procedural efficiencies that improve outcomes and quality of life for our patients.
New initiatives to improve heart attack outcomes
Ellis Medicine is continually researching and implementing innovative new protocols to improve patient outcomes. Hypothermic Therapy is one such process,; used to rapidly lower the body temperature in order to prevent or reduce brain damage in a cardiac arrest patient. [more]
Get the cardiac care you need, close to home
During a heart attack, it’s important to get to the nearest hospital that can stabilize your condition and prevent more serious damage to heart tissue. Ellis is centrally located to serve Southern Saratoga, Western Albany and Schenectady Counties, as well as Fulton, Montgomery and Schoharie Counties in central New York. Because we can deliver top-quality care close to home, Ellis is a top choice for cardiac care.
For more information about Ellis Medicine’s Wright Heart Center or Emergency Care, please call 1.888.EllisInfo (1.888.355.4746) or 518.243.3333.
Improving outcomes for cardiac arrest patients
Ellis Medicine's innovative Hypothermic Therapy treatment for heart attack patients has helped save dozens of lives since Ellis began utilizing it in the fall of 2009.
The protocols for Ellis' Hypothermic Therapy, known as "Code Cool" by hospital staff, were established after more than a year of research, review and training by a multi-disciplinary team.
Hypothermic Therapy is a process used to rapidly lower the body temperature to a near hypothermic state in order to prevent or reduce brain damage in a cardiac arrest patient. After cardiac arrest, when the heart is restarted and blood flow returns to the brain, cells in the brain can be damaged due to certain chemical reactions.
"Before the use of therapeutic hypothermia, 60% or more of patients who survived the initial cardiac event had significant brain damage. Studies have shown that cooling the brain following restoration of blood flow, which decreases the oxygen requirements of the brain during this critical period, can increase the chances of a favorable outcome by 30% to 50%," said Brian McDonald, M.D., medical director of the Intensive Care Unit at Ellis Hospital.
Patients who receive this treatment are "cooled" using a chilled saline IV, and either an external cooling device or an internal catheter based cooling device, reducing body temperature by about seven degrees Fahrenheit. The process is closely monitored by a specially trained "Code Cool" team from across the hospital, including physicians, nurses and patient care technicians from the Emergency Department, Critical Care, Cardiology, Neurology and Respiratory Therapy. The re-warming process is slow and gradual - a half a degree at a time - as the body temperature is raised again.
The future of emergency care for heart attack
Ellis Medicine has created a dedicated chest pain unit and Cardiac Fast Track care program at our state-of-the-art Emergency Department, to ensure that patients get prompt, lifesaving care when they need it.
Chest pain is a common cause for Emergency Department visits. There are times when it’s clearly a cardiac problem - a heart attack - and those patients need immediate care to prevent damage to their heart muscle. Other times the symptoms are less clear, and may be caused by musculoskeletal, stomach or esophagus problems. The Fast Track program allows us to see patients very quickly, evaluate their condition and provide appropriate treatment.
The Fast Track care program follows the Ellis model for team-based care and an integrated approach that expedites diagnoses and treatment. By providing specialized care for people suffering from chest pain symptoms, we’re able to quickly determine which patients need ongoing cardiac care and which patients can go home. It’s another way Ellis is rethinking the care model to benefit our community.
For more information about Ellis Medicine’s Wright Heart Center or Emergency Services, please call 1.888.EllisInfo (1.888.355.4746) or 518.243.3333.