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Prairie Heart Institute Doctors Reminds Community to Dial Don’t Drive When Chest Pain Occurs

Each year, 1.2 million Americans will suffer a cardiac emergency. About one third of these patients will die before they reach the hospital for one critical reason: A delay in receiving crucial medical treatment. February is heart month, and the physicians of the Prairie Heart Institute at HSHS St. John’s Hospital are working to reduce this statistic and improve heart health awareness in central Illinois by letting patients know: “It’s About Time – Always Dial, Never Drive.” By calling 911, patients in the central Illinois region activate the Prairie Chest Pain Network and receive top heart care without traveling long distances.
“When it comes to heart health, every second counts,” said Shailesh Nandish, M.D., medical director of the Prairie Heart Chest Pain Network. “The chest pain network allows us to offer fast, best in class care close to home for patients in central Illinois. By dialing 911 you can plug into the network, begin to receive diagnosis and treatment while traveling to the hospital and ensure top heart experts are informed of your specific condition and ready for your arrival. Saving this time can mean the difference between a treatable condition and irreversible heart damage – and even between life or death.”
Patients in central Illinois have access to the highest quality heart care right in their own community hospitals, thanks to the Prairie Chest Pain Network. Prairie Heart Institute, a nationally recognized leader in heart care, connects hospitals and emergency responders through the chest pain network to accelerate care when it matters most. Hospitals participating in the network put in place the top protocols to promote rapid treatment for heart attack patients, allowing them to provide the fastest and highest level of heart care in their area.
The doctors of the Prairie Heart Institute have been nationally recognized for their speed in diagnosing and treating patients experiencing a heart attack.
Research shows that many Americans wait two hours or more before seeking medical attention for heart attack symptoms, and far too many heart attack patients drive themselves or have a family member drive them to the hospital.
“Every heart attack is different, but common symptoms include pressure in the chest or arms and shortness of breath,” Dr. Nandish said. “When you experience these symptoms, or feel you may be having a heart attack, time is critical. Take steps now to be aware of the warning signs of a heart attack and discuss a plan with your family to dial 911 right away and ask to be taken to the chest pain network hospital if these symptoms occur. Placing that call saves time that can be better spent diagnosing, stabilizing and treating your condition.”
The Prairie Chest Pain Network is an initiative of the Prairie Heart Institute of Illinois, connecting hospitals and EMS agencies for the fastest and best care for chest pain patients.
About HSHS St. John’s Hospital
HSHS St. John’s Hospital in Springfield, Illinois is a regional medical center offering a comprehensive array of health care services to central and southern Illinois. Founded in 1875, St. John’s is the flagship hospital of Hospital Sisters Health System and is home to the Prairie Heart Institute, St. John’s Children’s Hospital, St. John’s Women’s Services, St. John’s Neurosciences Institute, St. John’s Cancer Center, orthopedic services and AthletiCare. St. John’s now has one of the most advanced surgery centers in the nation and a renovated patient tower with all private rooms. St. John’s is designated as a level I trauma center, has its own college of nursing and is a teaching hospital for the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine. For more information about St. John’s Hospital, visit www.st-johns.org.
About Hospital Sisters Health System
Hospital Sisters Health System’s (HSHS) mission is to reveal and embody Christ’s healing love for all people through our high quality Franciscan health care ministry. HSHS provides state-of-the-art health care to our patients and is dedicated to serving all people, especially the most vulnerable, at each of our 15 local systems and physician practices in Illinois (Breese, Decatur, Effingham, Greenville, Highland, Litchfield, O’Fallon, Shelbyville and Springfield) and Wisconsin (Chippewa Falls, Eau Claire, Oconto Falls, Sheboygan and two in Green Bay).  HSHS is sponsored by Hospital Sisters Ministries, and Hospital Sisters of St. Francis is the founding institute. For more information about HSHS, visit www.hshs.org. For more information about Hospital Sisters of St. Francis, visit www.hospitalsisters.org.  

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