As of January 1, Emanuel Medical Center has been designated an official receiving center for heart attack patients, completing the launch of Turlock’s first-ever cardiovascular program.
The program launched in April 2010, when Emanuel opened its Cardiac Cath and Interventional Lab. In May, 2011, the first open heart surgery was performed at Emanuel. And, as of January 1, 2012, Emanuel has been designated as an official receiving center for heart attack patients, meaning ambulances now bring cardiac patients to Emanuel, instead of passing up the Turlock hospital for Modesto.
Although the hospital has been treating heart attack patients since May of last year, those patients had all arrived at Emanuel on their own. With the new designation, ambulances can also deliver patients having a heart attack, known as STEMIs in medical jargon, directly to Emanuel.
The new designation comes from the Mountain-Valley Emergency Medical Services Agency, which oversees and regulates emergency care systems in Stanislaus County. The agency conducted an independent review of Emanuel’s emergency cardiac care procedures in October and determined they met all appropriate standards.
“It gives me great pleasure to designate Emanuel Medical Center as a STEMI Receiving Center for Stanislaus County,” said Richard Murdock, Executive Director of the Mountain-Valley EMS Agency.
The new designation brings the promise of quality, local emergency cardiac care home to people in Turlock, Hilmar, Denair and other nearby communities.
“This is an important milestone in Emanuel’s cardiac care program and a very special day for the community,” said Emanuel President and CEO John Sigsbury. “For the first time, someone having a heart attack in Turlock can be treated in Turlock, where care is just minutes away and not miles down the highway.”
The time saved can be critical. A heart attack occurs when the blood vessels that bring oxygen and nutrients to the heart muscle itself become blocked. If that blockage is cleared quickly, the heart can recover. If it’s not, permanent damage to the heart occurs.
“When someone is having a heart attack, minutes equal muscle,” Sigsbury said. “Every second counts.”
The next phase of Emanuel’s cardiac program is opening two new cardiac operating suites – including a cutting-edge hybrid room where the surgical table is integrated with an interventional radiology scanner normally found in a catheterization lab. That integration allows one surgeon to control both the table and the scanner, and will allow Emanuel doctors to treat two emergency patients at once.
Emanuel Medical Center is a not-for-profit, community-based Christian hospital. Its 403-bed multi-level medical campus includes a 209-bed acute care hospital, a 145-bed skilled nursing facility and a 49-bed assisted living facility. It provides emergency, critical care, pediatric, cardiovascular services, cancer diagnosis and treatment, women’s health services, surgery, and hospice services.
For more information, to search for a doctor by specialty or location, or for an online symptom-checker, visit www.emanuelmedicalcenter.org.