Barbara Bauder
Chief Development Officer
Bay Area Hospital

COOS BAY – Bay Area Hospital has achieved national accreditation for its rapid, effective response to severe heart attacks.

The hospital’s Prefontaine Cardiovascular Center is one of only five Oregon hospitals bearing the title, “Chest Pain Center.” The title means the hospital has assembled the expertise, procedures and equipment needed to save the lives of heart attack patients.

“People are surviving who would not have survived before,” said Todd Adelman, a registered nurse and the hospital’s Chest Pain Center Coordinator.

The Prefontaine Center has two board-certified interventional cardiologists: Dr. Seth Giri, who led that center’s development in 2013, and Dr. Rick Latham, who moved to the Bay Area this month. A graduate of Louisiana State University School of Medicine, Latham has 36 years of medical experience, most recently at Alaska’s Fairbanks Memorial Hospital.

The Prefontaine Center features a cardiac catheterization laboratory, where cardiologists clear blocked arteries inside human hearts, using flexible tubes called cardiac catheters.

The Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care, which confers the title, requires hospitals to meet eight rigorous standards. One of the standards says the “cath lab” must begin inserting a tiny balloon into the patient’s coronary artery within 90 minutes of the patient’s arrival. The procedure is commonly known as angioplasty, and Bay Area Hospital currently averages 62 minutes, Adelman said.

Another standard requires training hundreds of community members as Early Heart Attack Care “deputies.” A five-minute training course teaches the deputies to recognize heart attack symptoms.

The hospital’s formal designation is “Chest Pain Center With Primary PCI.” The acronym “PCI” is short for Percutaneous Coronary Intervention, another name for angioplasty.

A committee of hospital staff members began working toward accreditation a year ago. The accreditation will come up for renewal in 2018.

Bay Area Hospital is a full-service, acute care hospital in Coos Bay. With a full range of services including interventional cardiology, cancer services, orthopedic surgery, family birth center, imaging and more, Bay Area Hospital is recognized for medical excellence and for its mission of improving the health of our community every day.

Be A Heart Attack ‘Deputy’

The Early Heart Attack Care Program (EHAC) is a key element of community education about heart attacks. Each year, every accredited Chest Pain Center is mandated to teach 500-1,000 people to recognize and respond to early heart attack symptoms.

The EHAC Oath says:

“I understand that heart attacks have beginnings that may include chest discomfort, shortness of breath, shoulder and/or arm pain, and weakness. These may occur hours or weeks before the actual heart attack. I solemnly swear that if it happens to me or anyone I know, I will call 9-1-1 or activate our Emergency Medical Services.”

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