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Uniontown Hospital earns gold status in heart attack care


Uniontown Hospital has received the American Heart Association (AHA) Mission Lifeline Gold Award for exceptional care of heart attack patients. The Uniontown Hospital Cardiology Department, which earned bronze and silver Mission Lifeline Awards in 2014 and 2015 respectively, has worked to further the facility’s commitment to ensuring that heart attack patients receive the most rapid and appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines.

“Earning this award is the culmination of our commitment to ensuring the best possible care for cardiac patients,” Uniontown Hospital CEO Steve Handy said. “We are focused on being a healthy difference in Fayette County and we are committed to providing the best emergent cardiac care for our family, friends and neighbors when they need it the most.”

The Mission Lifeline Receiving Center Award was created by AHA to help ensure prompt, evidence-based care for the life threatening type of heart attack known as STEMI, ST Elevation Acute Myocardial Infarction.

Each year in the United States, approximately 300,000 people suffer a STEMI as the result of a total blockage of blood flow to the heart. Without immediate intervention such a cardiac event is typically fatal and it becomes critical to rapidly restore blood flow to the patient’s heart with the use of clot-busting medication or through surgical procedures.

“Time is of the essence when it comes to treating heart-related emergencies,” said Sandy Thorpe, Executive Director of Critical Care Services and Patient Flow at Uniontown Hospital. “With every second precious, our team has worked tirelessly to ensure that each moment is utilized to provide the most efficient and effective care. The Cardiology Department is a wonderful testament to teamwork, dedication and the desire to make a difference.”

According to the AHA, too many heart attack patients in the United States fail to receive appropriate treatment for their life-threatening condition within the recommended timeframes. This award was created to encourage and aid hospitals in furthering that goal of accurate and rapid care.

Uniontown Hospital was able to earn the award by meeting various performance standards in STEMI cases, including fast and appropriate treatment of blocked arteries and other post emergency therapies and drug regimens. Eligible hospitals must adhere to these measures at a set level for a designated period to receive the awards, according to the AHA.

Handy said that the award is yet another example of the quality of care and quality of people at Uniontown Hospital.

“In those crucial minutes when a heart attack strikes, our team is responding quickly – from our EMS partners taking the initial 911 call to our interventional cardiologists working to find blockages – we are making those moments count,” Handy said. “We are all here for you. We will always work to make a healthy difference in each and every life we touch.”  

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