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Beating benchmarks

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Tri-City Medical Center is certified as a STEMI (heart attack) Receiving Center because the hospital meets aggressive treatment standards that produce good outcomes. The emergency room team’s job is to get the patient from the ER to the cardiovascular catheterization lab for angioplasty as quick as possible.

Angioplasty is a procedure in which a thin catheter with a tiny balloon on the end is guided into a blocked artery. Quick door-to-balloon time, as it is called, is crucial because the longer blood flow to the heart is blocked, the greater the damage to the heart muscle.

The American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology established a national benchmark goal of 90 minutes to place a stent to open a clogged coronary artery. Tri-City Medical Center consistently beats that benchmark, sometimes performing the life-saving procedure in as little as 35 minutes after arrival.

*For three consecutive years, Tri-City Medical Center has been recognized by the American Stroke and Heart Associations for its high-quality care through the national "Get With the Guidelines" Gold Plus Performance Achievement Award.

*Heart disease is the No. 1 killer in the United States.

*Men and woman are not created equal when it comes to heart disease. While more men have heart attacks, women are twice as likely to die from heart disease, because some of the symptoms women experience may be mistaken for other conditions.

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