Carroll Hospital Center has received the Mission: Lifeline Bronze Receiving Quality Achievement Award for implementing specific quality improvement measures outlined by the American Heart Association for the treatment of patients who suffer severe heart attacks.

The American Heart Association's Mission: Lifeline program helps hospitals, emergency medical services and communities improve response times so people who suffer from an ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI), the most serious type of heart attack, get prompt, appropriate treatment. The program's goal is to streamline systems of care to quickly get heart attack patients from the first 9-1-1 call to hospital treatment.

"We are extremely proud of this achievement," said Tony Pinson, manager of cardiovascular services at Carroll Hospital Center. "It recognizes our STEMI team's hard work and dedication to ensuring our heart attack patients always receive the best and timeliest cardiac care."

"We commend Carroll Hospital Center for this achievement award, which reflects a significant institutional commitment to improve the quality of care for their heart attack patients," said A. Gray Ellrodt, M.D., chair of the Mission: Lifeline committee and chief of medicine at the Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield, Mass. "All too many heart attack patients in the United States still fail to receive appropriate treatment for their life-threatening condition within the recommended timeframes. We must all continue this important work to streamline and coordinate regional systems of care to save lives and prevent complications."

Carroll Hospital Center earned the award by meeting specific criteria and standards of performance for the quick and appropriate treatment of STEMI patients to open their blocked artery. Before patients are discharged, they are started on aggressive risk reduction therapies such as cholesterol-lowering drugs, aspirin, ACE inhibitors and beta-blockers, and they receive smoking cessation counseling if needed. Eligible hospitals must adhere to these measures at a set level for a designated period to receive the awards.

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