Tag Archives: STEMI

LMC Swansea Rehearses Emergency Response


Swansea, SC (WLTX) — During a health emergency one second can save a life. That is why Lexington Medical Center is making sure each one counts when it comes to caring for patient in rural areas of the Midlands.

Time counts when it comes to a heart attack and registered nurse and Community Medical Center Clinical Coordinator Darrell Tedder knows that first hand.

“I had a little burning chest pain. I thought it was reflux, took an antacid, didn’t work,” said Tedder.

That happened in 2008. He recognized the situation as serious and called his own ambulance.

“They took me to the hospital, where they opened me up, put a stint in, actually three, and I’m a survivor today,” said Tedder.

Now he and other medical professionals at the Lexington Medical Center’s Community Medical Center in Swansea are working to make sure those far away from the hospital’s main campus, can get to that care more quickly.

“The quicker you get somebody to a quick assessment, identification of the problem and get them to an area where they can be treated the less muscle that dies or is actually damaged,” he said.

The Swansea Community Medical Center held a drill to rehearse their response to a person having the most serious kind of heart attack called a STEMI, or ST segment elevation myocardial infarction. During a STEMI an artery is completely blocked off and part of the heart can begin to die. While the center can handle many kinds of medical emergencies, Dr. Donald Langston Powell says when they recognize a STEMI they begin procedures to get a patient to the main campus as soon as possible.

“When we call the helicopter or when we call the ambulance, there are personnel that are trained to take care of people. They’re all certified in advance cardiac life support and have all the tools necessary to take care of that patient,” said Powell.

While the community center is somewhat limited in what it can provide, Powell says receiving medications and care as they prepare to transport someone, is better than risking an attempt to reach the hospital on your own.

Lexington Medical Center Receives Award for Outstanding Heart Attack Care

imageLexington Medical Center has received an award from the American Heart Association for outstanding care of patients with the most dangerous type of heart attack, known as a STEMI. The American Heart Association has awarded Lexington Medical Center with its “Mission: Lifeline®” Silver Level Recognition Award for its efforts to improve the quality of care for STEMI patients.
“Lexington Medical Center is the only hospital in the Midlands to meet ‘Mission: Lifeline®’ recognition,” said Kristin Davis, director of “Mission: Lifeline” South Carolina. “The staff should be very proud of all the hard work they have put into the hospital system.”

STEMI is an acronym for “ST segment elevation myocardial infarction.” During a STEMI, a coronary artery is completely blocked off and nearly all of the heart muscle supplied by the artery starts to die. This type of heart attack is usually recognized by the changes it produces on an electrocardiogram (ECG).

According to the American Heart Association, nearly 250,000 Americans experience a STEMI each year. The majority of these patients fail to receive appropriate treatment for their life-threatening conditions within recommended timeframes.

The American Heart Association created “Mission: Lifeline®” to provide education about prompt and appropriate STEMI treatment. The Recognition Awards honor hospitals that treat STEMI patients with recommended door-to-device timeframes, and follow up with appropriate medication, treatment and education. The awards also measure the work of EMS and referral centers.

“This award reflects our dedication to heart attack care in all phases of the care continuum at our hospital” said James W. Jeffcoat, MSN, RN-BC, Lexington Medical Center Outcomes Coordinator.
Lexington Medical Heart Center offers comprehensive cardiovascular care, including open heart surgery and therapeutic catheterizations. It is the only Duke Heart Center affiliated program in the Midlands.
The hospital began its complete cardiac care program in 2012. In its first year, Lexington Medical Center performed nearly 200 open heart surgeries. This year, Lexington Medical Center has added a second open heart surgeon. In addition, Lexington Medical Center now offers electrophysiology, a cardiology specialty that focuses on the treatment of abnormal heart rhythms. The hospital is also looking toward providing minimally invasive aortic valve replacement in the future.