More than five million Americans visit hospitals each year with chest pain. When the heart is not working well, it’s critical to have a plan in place to fight back. Shawnee Mission Medical Center's (SMMC) Chest Pain Center leads the community in quality cardiac and vascular care by becoming the first hospital in both the state of Kansas and the Kansas City metropolitan area to earn accreditation by the Society of Chest Pain Centers and Providers as well the first hospital in Kansas to complete the Cycle II accreditation with percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) designation. In September 2013, the hospital once again achieved status as an Accredited Chest Pain Center for another three years.
When patients arrive at the Center, we know that every minute counts. Patients who are experiencing chest pain are triaged and treated immediately with a consistent plan of care. When appropriate, those who suffer an acute myocardial infarction (heart attack) can be treated in the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory (Cath Lab) by cardiologists who are on call 24 hours a day. Our time to treatment, from the ED to the Cath Lab, exceeds national benchmark standards, meaning a decreased risk of permanent injury to the heart muscle.
Our team of cardiac specialists, including Board-certified physicians, specially trained nurses and skillful technicians, are available around the clock. Our organized team approach to diagnosing and treating chest pain allows us to reduce the rate of heart attacks by minimizing damage and ensuring that patients receive prompt and effective care.
Special technology in the Chest Pain Center includes:
• Cardiac and pulse oximetry monitoring
• External cardiac pacing capability
• 24-hour access to radiology, ultrasound and CT
• 24-hour access to the clinical laboratory
• 24-hour access to the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory, or Cath Lab
• All physicians are either Board-certified or Board-eligible emergency physicians
• Nurses certified in ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support) and/or ENPC (Emergency Nurse Pediatric Course).
The bottom line is that faster treatment means better long-term outcomes for patients. Integration with the local emergency medical system and immediate access to life-saving resources make it possible for our team of experts to assess, diagnose and treat patients quicker than ever before. If you experience chest pain, call 911.
Know the Warning Signs of a Heart Attack
• Discomfort, pressure, fullness, squeezing or pain in the center of the chest lasting more than a few minutes. This feeling of discomfort can occur anywhere in the chest.
• Discomfort spreading to the shoulders, neck or arms
• Shortness of breath
• Anxiety or sweating accompanied by chest pain
• Dizziness, fainting or light-headedness accompanied by chest pain
• Indigestion or nausea.
Keep in mind that not all symptoms occur in every heart attack. Some symptoms may come and go. If you experience these signals, call 911.
Learn More About the Heart & Vascular Center at Shawnee Mission Health