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Cardiac Critical Care

What is cardiac critical care?

At the first sign of a heart attack, quick diagnosis and treatment makes the difference. When every second counts, we are there with emergency cardiac care 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.

HealthPark Medical Center is one of two interventional emergency centers in the area and the only accredited Chest Pain Center in a five-county region.

This means that if you are experiencing a cardiac emergency, EMS will transport you here to receive emergency cardiac care. As an interventional emergency center, 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 real possibility of avoiding or limiting heart muscle damage if they quickly seek medical attention. An EMS responding to your 911 call will transport you to an interventional emergency center.

Once you arrive at HealthPark Medical Center, the immediate goal 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. We try to establish reperfusion in the first four to six hours of a heart attack or acute coronary syndrome (ACS) and within 90 minutes from the time a heart attack or ACS patient enters the Emergency Department.

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

Technology and expertise at Lee Health

Did you know: Lee Health's cardiac team performs more than 2,000 angioplasties (PTCA) per year.

At Lee Health, our cardiac team is on standby all day, every day. Our speed in treating heart attacks places us in the top 10 percent of all hospitals in the country.

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.