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Northwestern Memorial Best in Chicago and Among Best in the Nation for Heart Attack Response

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March 8, 2007

Chicago -

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid note Northwestern Memorial’s Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute as having best catheterization response of any Chicago hospital

Every minute counts from the time a patient suffering a The embedded asset has been deleted:
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 enters a hospital to when clinical personnel begin life-saving treatment.  According to the most recent US government statistics on Medicare users, Northwestern Memorial Hospital’s Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute has the best record of any Chicago hospital and among the best in the nation with 93 percent of patients being treated for blocked arteries within 120 minutes or less.  The national average is 67%. 

These data are supplied by Hospital Compare, a consumer Web site that publishes information about how well hospitals care for their adult patients. Among the major metropolitan hospitals cited in the New York Times newspaper, Northwestern Memorial was listed for having the best heart attack response rate in Chicago. 

To explain, the length of time it takes for heart attack patients to be treated with a procedure known as percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) once they arrive to the hospital is one the critical measures of the quality of care administered to heart attack patients.  This performance measure requires rapid identification of patients in the emergency department and rapid 24/7 response of the cardiology team to achieve these results.  Northwestern Memorial has developed a strong collaborative, multidisciplinary approach to the treatment of these critically ill patients from entry into the emergency department through its catheterization lab where PCIs are performed.

Doctors perform these emergency procedures to open blocked arteries and restore blood flow. Hospital Compare notes that with treatment of heart attack patients PCIs is the most effective way to open blocked blood vessels and prevent further heart muscle damage. In fact, improving blood flow to the heart as quickly as possible not only lessens the damage, it increases the patients’ chances for survival.

Northwestern Memorial Hospital's Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute is a world-class heart and vascular program that offers comprehensive services and treatments in all areas of cardiovascular care. Patients benefit from the expertise of physicians, nurses and a range of multidisciplinary specialists working together in a variety of areas including cardiology, cardiac surgery, vascular medicine and surgery, cardiovascular anesthesiology, cardiac behavioral medicine and radiology.  To learn more about Bluhm and its Cath Lab visit us on the Web at http://www.nmh.org/nmh/heart/hospitalAmenities.htm.


Last UpdateFebruary 8, 2011