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Speed and time play a critical role when it comes to diagnosing and treating patients with chest pain. Chest pain is a common symptom of heart disease and is the second leading reason patients present to emergency rooms. Now in a step to advance the evaluation of chest pain patients, SwedishAmerican Hospital has launched a new initiative to speed the accurate and efficient diagnosis of patients with suspected heart attacks.
Time is muscle. The longer we wait to treat the patient, the more the heart muscle is damaged, and every minute can make a significant difference in the patients life, said Dr. Richard Tovar, medical director of SwedishAmericans Emergency Department. Therefore, earlier diagnosis can play a critical role in helping us streamline the process of evaluating our chest pain patients, thus enabling faster and more effective treatment for our patients, which leads to better and timelier patient care.
To improve diagnosis, SwedishAmerican has implemented the Triage CardioProfilER Panel. The portable device is small enough to be used near the patient, ensuring that diagnostic information is readily accessible. By combining four markers of cardiovascular disease in one test panel, the 15-minute diagnostic test is intended to provide the physicians with a fast and convenient means of assessing chest pain patients for a variety of conditions to potentially enable earlier therapeutic intervention or disease rule-out.
An estimated 6 million Americans visit hospital emergency rooms each year with chest pain, but all patients with chest pain are not having heart attacks. Conversely, some patients experience heart attacks without having the typical clinical presentation of chest pain. The addition of cardiac marker testing can play a critical role in helping physicians diagnose heart attacks, allowing appropriate treatment to be started in a timely manner and improving outcomes for patients.
The addition of this state-of-the-art technology further demonstrates SwedishAmericans commitment to leadership in the field of cardiac care, Tovar added.
From the Nov. 29 – Dec. 5, 2006, issue