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Richmond University Medical Center Recognized for Effective Heart Attack Care

July 1, 2019 – The American Heart Association has recognized Richmond University Medical Center for its efficient and effective care of heart attack patients. The Association has bestowed the hospital with its 2019 Mission: Lifeline NSTEMI Silver Quality Achievement Award and its 2019 Mission: Lifeline Bronze STEMI Receiving Center Quality Achievement Award.

Richmond University Medical Center earned the NSTEMI Silver Quality Achievement Award for its quick and appropriate treatment of NSTEMI heart attack patients by providing emergency procedures to re-establish blood flow to blocked arteries. The hospital earned the Bronze STEMI Receiving Quality Achievement Award by meeting specific criteria to re-establish blood flow to blocked arteries in severe heart attack patients coming to the hospital directly, or by transfer.

“We commend Richmond University Medical Center for these awards in recognition for following evidence-based guidelines for timely heart attack treatment,” said Dr. Tim Henry, chair of the Mission: Lifeline Acute Coronary Syndrome subcommittee. “We applaud the significant institutional commitment to their critical role in the system of care for quickly and appropriately treating heart attack patients.”

Heart attacks are medically classified as either an ST elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) or Non-ST-elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI). ST refers to the ST segment, which is part of the EKG heart tracing used to diagnose a heart attack.  In addition to signs such as chest pain, a heart attack is diagnosed mainly through two methods. First is a blood test that shows elevated levels of certain markers of heart damage, such as cardiac troponin. Second is by examining an EKG heart tracing. If there is a pattern known as ST-elevation on the EKG, this is called a STEMI. If there is elevation of the blood markers suggesting heart damage, but no ST elevation is seen on the EKG tracing, this is known as a NSTEMI.

According to the American Heart Association, every year, more than 250,000 people experience a STEMI, the deadliest type of heart attack, caused by a blockage of blood flow to the heart that requires timely treatment. To prevent death, it is critical to restore blood flow as quickly as possible, either by mechanically opening the blocked vessel or by providing clot-busting medication.    

The American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline program’s goal is to reduce system barriers to prompt treatment for heart attacks, beginning with the 9-1-1 call, to EMS transport and continuing through hospital treatment and discharge. The initiative provides tools, training, and other resources to support heart attack care following protocols from the most recent evidence-based treatment guidelines.

“Our entire cardiology team, which includes many board certified physicians, is dedicated to providing optimal care for heart attack patients,” hospital president and chief executive officer, Dr. Daniel J. Messina said. “These recognitions from the American Heart Association are testament to their commitment to helping families in need and to the level of care being provided within our hospital.”

Richmond University Medical Center is an adult Level I trauma center, capable of treating any cardiac emergency. The hospital’s continuous high level of quality and care have drawn accolades and recognition from the American Heart Association in past years. It is also a New York State Department of Health, and FDNY-approved facility for its ability to provide fast and efficient life-saving treatment for acute heart attack victims.