December 9, 2010

Not all hospitals are equal in heart care

Posted in Heart Disease in the News tagged , , , , , , , at 5:12 pm by keepyourhearthealthy

CPR training

Image via Wikipedia

Some of the more reputable hospitals in your area may not have the latest equipment to save your life during a heart attack.

A recent article in Sports Illustrated actually highlighted this issue.  Yes, that’s right…Sports Illustrated.  Not Time or Newsweek but a magazine that usually discusses sports published an article called “The Cardiac Kid” about a teenage boy who was saved by some cutting edge medical equipment in Atlanta, GA.

The 17-year-old boy whom Sports Illustrated tells the story of collapsed from a heart attack while running track.  After receiving life-saving CPR immediately on the scene, the boy was transported to Piedmont Hospital.  The article states, “if Piedmont Hospital doctors hadn’t induced hypothermia to prevent neurological damage; if the hospital hadn’t been one of a handful with a TandemHeart device, which allowed Scott’s blood to flow in spite of his nonfunctioning heart and lungs…Scott wouldn’t have had a chance.”

For many native Atlantans, Piedmont Hospital is not where they automatically think to go for cardiac care.  St. Joseph’s Hospital was the main center for heart surgery 20 years ago and people still tend to think they are the best place.  What they don’t realize is that many cardiologists left St. Joseph’s to go to Piedmont.  In addition, St. Joseph’s does not use the TandemHeart device so they do not provide the same cutting edge cardiac care which saved The Cardiac Kid’s life.

Even if you don’t live in Atlanta, this story holds true in many other cities as well.  Ask your doctor about the best place to go in an emergency.  You may find that driving an extra few miles could mean the difference between life and death.