Quality & Patient Safety

Heart Attack Care Ensuring quality care

A heart attack (also called an acute myocardial infarction) happens when the arteries leading to the heart become blocked and the blood supply is slowed or stopped. When the heart muscle can’t get the oxygen and nutrients it needs, the part of the heart tissue that is affected may die.

The symptoms of a heart attack can include:

  • chest pain (often described as a crushing, squeezing or burning pain in the center of the chest and may radiate to your arm or jaw)
  • shortness of breath
  • dizziness or faintness
  • sweating
  • nausea
  • cold or clammy skin
  • a gray or very ill appearance.
  • Sometimes there may be no symptoms, especially if you have diabetes. Women sometimes have different symptoms, such as a different kind of chest pain and/or abdominal pain.

“We are extremely proud of our outcomes in treating heart attack patients. Our paramedics are equipped with the latest technology and our Emergency Department and Catherization Lab is ready on a moment’s notice. The ability to respond immediately directly helps us save lives.”

 — Michael Guillot,
Director of Emergency Medical Services

The individual measures below are how hospitals throughout the United States are measured. Click on a link to see how EJGH compares nationally and in Louisiana in each individual measure.

  • 1 Percent of Heart Attack Patients Given Aspirin at Discharge Show More

    Description of Measure

    Taking aspirin may help prevent further heart attacks.

    Why is this Important?

    Blood clots can block blood vessels. Aspirin can help prevent blood clots from forming or help dissolve blood clots that have formed. Following a heart attack, continued use of aspirin may help reduce the risk of another heart attack. Aspirin can have side effects like stomach inflammation, bleeding, or allergic reactions. Talk to your health care provider before using aspirin on a regular basis to make sure it’s safe for you.

  • 2 Percent of Heart Attack Patients Given PCI Within 90 Minutes Of Arrival Show More

    Description of Measure

    The procedures called Percutaneous Coronary Interventions (PCI) are among those that are the most effective for opening blocked blood vessels that cause heart attacks. Doctors may perform PCI, or give medicine to open the blockage, and in some cases, may do both.

    Why is this Important?

    The heart is a muscle that gets oxygen through blood vessels. Sometimes blood clots can block these blood vessels, and the heart can’t get enough oxygen. This can cause a heart attack. Percutaneous Coronary Interventions (PCI) are procedures that are among the most effective ways to open blocked blood vessels and help prevent further heart muscle damage. A PCI is performed by a doctor to open the blockage and increase blood flow in blocked blood vessels. Improving blood flow to your heart as quickly as possible lessens the damage to your heart muscle. It also can increase your chances of surviving a heart attack. There are three procedures commonly described by the term PCI. These procedures all involve a catheter (a flexible tube) that is inserted, often through your leg, and guided through the blood vessels to the blockage. The three procedures are:

    Angioplasty – a balloon is inflated to open the blood vessel.
    Stenting – a small wire tube called a stent is placed in the blood vessel to hold it open.
    Atherectomy – a blade or laser cuts through and removes the blockage.

  • 3 Heart attack patients given a prescription for a statin at discharge Show More

    Description of Measure

    This measure shows the percent of patients who had a heart attack who got a prescription for a Statin before discharge from the hospital. Patients who shouldn’t take Statins aren’t included in this measure.

    Why is this Important?

    Statins are drugs used to lower cholesterol. Cholesterol is a fat (also called a lipid) that your body needs to work properly. Cholesterol levels that are too high can increase your chance of getting heart disease, stroke, and other problems. For patients who have had one or more heart attacks and have high cholesterol, taking Statins can lower the chance that they’ll have another heart attack or die.

    Higher numbers are better.

All descriptions and data sources are reported from Hospital Compare.

Data reported are based on discharge from Fourth Quarter 2012 through Third Quarter 2013