Emergency Services

At the first sign of a heart attack, prompt diagnosis and treatment can make a critical difference. When every second counts, the we are there with emergency cardiac care available 24 hours a day at HealthPark Medical Center, Gulf Coast Medical Center, Cape Coral Hospital and Lee Memorial Hospital.

At each location, the emergency department staff includes board certified physicians as well as nurses who are certified in Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) and emergency and trauma care nursing.

HealthPark Medical Center and Gulf Coast Medical Center are the two interventional emergency centers in the area, and HealthPark Medical Center is the only fully accredited Chest Pain Center in a five county region.

This means that if you are experiencing a cardiac emergency, EMS will transport you to receive emergency cardiac care. Our goal is to diagnose your cardiac condition quickly and accurately.

Why does an interventional emergency center matter?

Thanks to significant advances in treatment, people suffering from a heart attack or acute coronary syndrome (ACS) have the very real possibility of avoiding or limiting heart muscle damage if they quickly seek appropriate medical attention by EMS responding to your 911 call and transporting you to an interventional emergency center.

Once you arrive at the hospital and it is verified that you are having a heart attack or acute coronary syndrome (ACS), the immediate goal of treatment is to quickly open the blocked artery and restore blood flow to the heart muscle. The process is called "reperfusion."

Prompt reperfusion minimizes the damage to heart muscle and preserves the pumping function of the heart. Delay can result in irreversible damage to heart muscle cells and reduced pumping force to the remaining heart muscle.

It is best if reperfusion can be established in the first four to six hours of a heart attack or acute coronary syndrome (ACS) and within 90 minutes from the time a patient enters the emergency department until they undergo the procedure for reperfusion.

The most direct method of opening a blocked artery is to perform an immediate coronary angiogram (cardiac cath) and angioplasty also know as PTCA (percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty) and/or stent or drug-eluding stent placement.

PTCA and stent placement can only be performed at a hospital that has interventional cardiac catheterization facilities and a team available 24 hours a day.

Technology and expertise at Lee Health

Lee Health has the only hosptial in a five county region that has been recognized as a fully Accredited Chest Pain Center, with "door-to-balloon time" (the time from when a patient with a heart attack arrives in the emergency department until that person's coronary artery is re-opened with a balloon catheter), consistently beating the national standard. This level of care greatly increases a patients chance of survival from a heart attack.

Lee Health heart and vascular teams perform more 2,000 angioplasties (PTCAs) per year.

At Lee Health, our heart attack team is on standby 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year. Our speed in treating heart attacks places us in the top 10 percent of all hospitals in the USA.

We also have advanced procedures to help patients who suffer severe heart attacks. Our collaboration with Lee County EMS enables us to provide immediate cardiac care in the field. Through a newer procedure called therapeutic hypothermia, or whole body cooling therapy, we are improving the odds of a successful recovery for patients who have been resuscitated but are in an induced coma.