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Southside Hospital earns top American Heart Association ranking for third time

Southside Hospital administration, departments of cardiology and emergency medicine, the Community Ambulance Company and the Exchange Ambulance of the Islips.
Southside Hospital administration, departments of cardiology and emergency medicine, the Community Ambulance Company and the Exchange Ambulance of the Islips.

Southside Hospital is lone Long Island facility recognized by AHA

BAY SHORE, NY —

Southside Hospital has been recognized by the American Heart Association for its high-quality care of patients who suffered severe heart attacks with the Mission: Lifeline gold award.            

Southside Hospital is the first and only Long Island facility to achieve gold status and one of 11 hospitals in New York State to earn gold in 2019. The hospital achieved this distinction for the third straight year by consistently getting patients suffering an ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction (STEMI) – a heart attack that can be fatal without swift intervention – to the hospital’s cardiac catheterization lab where blood flow can be restored. The national guideline for door-to-artery unblockage time is 90 minutes, but Southside Hospital’s average time is a third faster at 60 minutes.        

“One of our fastest response times from the hospital doors to opening the patient’s artery with a stent was 33 minutes, which involved coordination between Sayville’s Community Ambulance squad, our emergency department and our cardiac catheterization team,” said Puneet Gandotra, MD, vice chair of cardiology at Southside Hospital. “Having such a fast response time is critical when you’re talking about a person’s heart muscle.”

Fast communication, action is key

Treatment done this quickly has been made possible in part through the hospital's use of the LifeNet system, which allows first responders to securely send important health information such as electrocardiograms (ECG) to Southside Hospital's emergency cardiac team so they can mobilize to help the incoming patient. This speed of care is also due to the strong partnership Southside has with its local emergency medical service first responders.

“Southside Hospital Bohlsen Family Emergency Department physicians receive the electrocardiogram from emergency medical services professionals in the field,” said Greg Garra, DO, associate chairman of emergency medicine at Southside Hospital. “If it indicates a heart attack, we activate the cardiology team to start preparations for a catheterization, a special procedure to identify the heart blockage and open it up to restore blood flow.”

Southside Hospital has three cardiac cath labs, two of which were opened last year in an effort to expand access to cardiac care for Suffolk County residents.

“In addition to Southside’s designation, three Suffolk County emergency medical services (EMS) agencies were eligible for this award based on Southside’s continued STEMI pre-notification process and strong EMS partnerships,” said Tim Dackow, NP, Southside’s trauma coordinator.

For more information about Southside Heart & Lung, call (631) 968-3525 or go to https://southside.northwell.edu/southside-heart-lung.

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