Emergency Services for Heart and Stroke

Lutheran Hospital offers numerous programs specially designed to get heart attack and stroke patients the care they need as soon as possible after the onset of their symptoms.

One of the most commonly treated conditions in the ER is chest pain. Because patients experiencing chest pain or symptoms of a heart attack need immediate access to a cardiac catheterization lab, Lutheran Hospital offers 24-hour interventional cardiology as part of its accredited chest pain center. The cardiac cath lab is staffed and ready to go 24/7. If the ER physician determines the patient is having a heart-related event, the patient is moved immediately to the lab for a catheterization. This procedure helps expedite a diagnosis and the creation of a treatment plan. This chest pain center protocol allows physicians to reduce the time to treatment during the critical early stages of a heart attack, when treatments are most effective.

In addition, Lutheran offers Level 1 Heart, a system that enhances the level of care for acute heart attack patients in the region. Level I Heart incorporates a phone system that connects regional hospitals to Lutheran and alerts the ER, which then readies the physicians, staff and surgical teams to expedite care upon the patient's arrival at the hospital.

A second common condition treated in the Lutheran ER is stroke. A stroke occurs when blood flow to the brain is interrupted and is similar to what happens to the heart during a heart attack. Lutheran Hospital's designation as a primary stroke center by the Joint Commission ensures stroke patients their needs will be met from the moment they arrive in the ER until their discharge.

The stroke designation ensures patients who arrive in the ER within six hours of the onset of their symptoms that they will undergo the "stroke alert" protocol, a process designed to quickly diagnose and treat stroke patients. This protocol encompasses best-practices recommendations. After the diagnosis, patients are entitled to around-the-clock neurology coverage, 24/7 access to diagnostic and laboratory tests and medications and continual analysis of their data, which is used to improve patient outcomes.