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Emergency Heart Alerts

A person experiencing a heart attack and arriving at any of Tanner’s 24-hour emergency departments will activate Tanner’s Heart Alert System. If at Higgins General Hospital in Bremen, the patient will immediately be transferred to Tanner Medical Center/Carrollton or Tanner Medical Center/Villa Rica where specially trained and qualified physicians, nurses and technologists will oversee their care.

The name of the game is time. It’s essential that blood flow be restored to the heart as quickly as possible. In the past, patients had to be transported to hospitals in Atlanta to receive angioplasty, which is now available at Tanner Medical Center/Carrollton and Tanner Medical Center/Villa Rica. These patients lost valuable minutes as their hearts deteriorated without oxygen.

According to the American College of Cardiology (ACC), a patient should be able to undergo an angioplasty procedure within at least 90 minutes of arriving at the hospital. The national average time from when a patient enters the hospital doors to undergoing the procedure during a heart attack is estimated at 120 minutes. At Tanner, the average time is less than the ACC guidelines and much better than the national average. Click to learn more about angioplasty.

A feature available locally that further helps expedite care for heart attacks is the LifeNet system installed on most regional ambulances. With LifeNet, the emergency medical technicians and paramedics aboard the ambulance can take an ECG reading and securely transmit the reading to one of Tanner’s 24-hour emergency departments. There, a board-certified emergency medicine physician can interpret the ECG reading and call for a team to be ready to perform angioplasty when the patient arrives. This allows the patient to bypass further testing in the emergency department and go straight to the catheterization lab where angioplasty can be used to relieve the symptoms of the heart attack and save heart muscle.

Tanner Health System has three 24-hour emergency departments located at Tanner Medical Center/Carrollton, Tanner Medical Center/Villa Rica and Higgins General Hospital in Bremen. The physicians and nurses at Tanner’s emergency department are trained to “think cardiac,” and are highly skilled in advanced cardiac life support (ACLS) and trauma nurse core curriculum (TNCC) to better prepare them to handle cardiac emergencies. Each emergency department is prepared to evaluate and treat patients presenting with symptoms related to cardiovascular disease, including heart attacks, angina, arrhythmia and heart failure.

To find a cardiologist on Tanner's medical staff, click Our Team or call 770.214.CARE for a physician referral.

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