TMH Chest Pain Center reaccredited

Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare’s Cath Lab, where their interventional cardiologists perform. Photo courtesy: Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare

Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare has been reaccredited as a Chest Pain Center by the American College of Cardiology. TMH’s primary PCI and resuscitation methods have allowed the non-profit hospital to provide the highest level of care for heart attack and cardiac arrest patients around the clock.

William Dixon is an interventional cardiologist who serves as the Chest Pain Center’s medical director. He believes that teamwork, communication and strategic evaluation is key to getting things right.

“The way to get efficient at something is to standardize it. So you look at what are the requirements, what are the steps you have to achieve, and how do you achieve that over and over again regardless of who’s taking care of the patient,” Dixon said in an interview. “Those are the kind of things we work on, on a continuing basis to maintain accreditation.”

February is also American Heart Month, highlighting cardiovascular health. High blood pressure, heart diseases, strokes, etc., are examples of important health risks to watch out for.

Jacki Rehwinkel lives in Tallahassee and has used two local hospitals. Her late husband received care at TMH after suffering a heart attack. Her current husband had congestive heart failure and also was treated at TMH.

“TMH is the best place for heart issues, their heart department is super,” said Rehwinkel. “I’ve always said heart issues and babies should be TMH. For anything else, I prefer Capital Regional Medical Center.”

Dixon said in a press release that whether or not someone has had a heart attack or cardiac arrest, timing is key. Taking care of people quickly and effectively make it crucial to seeking care as soon as possible from a skilled facility. He said that for this community, that is TMH.

Kelly Create resides in Tallahassee and suffers from postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), which can cause really high heart rates and high blood pressure. POTS can be a misinterpreted condition, according to the Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD).

Create was diagnosed at TMH after years of suffering from heart palpitations.

“I went through a lot. I was misdiagnosed prior and frustrated. The doctors at TMH, I owe them my life,” Create said. “They saved me in more than one way, from the moment I stepped into the ER all the way through my stay. I’m getting better!”

She also mentioned that she’s pretty positive that if she had not landed at TMH, she’d still be suffering today.

Nixon says that something as simple as refraining from smoking, continually exercising, and getting CPR certified can either save your life or someone else’s.

TMH has several resources to utilize that can help people become more aware of cardiovascular health; here are two:

Heart attack vs. cardiac arrest

CPR video