Gill Heart Institute Earns American Heart Association Award

All heart attacks are serious, but one type – called STEMI — is particularly deadly.

“A STEMI, or ST Segment Elevation Myocardial Infarction, means an artery to the heart is 100 percent blocked, which is associated with a much higher short-term risk of death or disability compared to other types of heart attack,” Dr. Adrian Messerli of the University of Kentucky’s Gill Heart Institute said.

More than 250,000 Americans suffer a STEMI each year and once heart muscle is damaged it will never grow back.

“That’s why immediate access to treatment for STEMI patients is critical to their recovery,” said Messerli.

The Gill Heart Institute has been recognized by the American Heart Association for their high quality treatment of STEMI patients with a 2016 Mission: Lifeline® Receiving Center BRONZE Recognition Award.

According to the AHA, the Gill is “part of an elite group of hospitals recognized…for quality heart attack care…. treating patients according to nationally accepted guidelines.”

The AHA requires award recipients to adhere to rigorous standards including time to treatment of 90 minutes or less, administration of certain medications to reduce the chance of another heart attack, and other counseling such as smoking cessation.

“We have an incredibly talented and hard-working team, including nurses, staff and emergency medical personnel, all of whom contribute to successful patient outcomes,” said Susan Smyth, MD, PhD, Medical Director of the Gill Heart Institute. “This award justly recognizes their work and ultimately is a reflection of the high standard of care we provide to the communities we serve.”

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Media Contact: Laura Dawahare,