Chest Pain Center

St. Francis Medical Center offers an accredited Chest Pain Center with Primary PCI. This designation, given by the the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care (SCPC), means that St. Francis Medical Center has demonstrated expertise in cardiac patient care as measured by a wide range of stringent criteria. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 730,000 Americans suffer a heart attack each year. The most common symptom of a heart attack for both men and women is chest pain or discomfort. However, women are more likely to have atypical symptoms. Other heart attack symptoms include, but are not limited to, tingling or discomfort in one or both arms, back, shoulder, neck or jaw, shortness of breath, cold sweat, unusual tiredness, heartburn-like feeling, nausea or vomiting, sudden dizziness and fainting.

Heart attacks are the leading cause of death in the United States, with 600,000 people dying annually of heart disease. More than five million Americans visit hospitals each year with chest pain. SCPC's goal is to significantly reduce the mortality rate of these patients by teaching the public to recognize and react to the early symptoms of a possible heart attack, reduce the time that it takes to receive treatment, and increase the accuracy and effectiveness of treatment. 

“Chest pain is among the top symptoms of patients who visit the St. Francis Medical Center Emergency Department (ED). This accreditation means that any patient who comes to St. Francis experiencing chest pain can be confident he or she is receiving care that meets or exceeds the highest national standards of care,” said Teresa Daniel, RN-BC, CEN, SANE-A, Chest Pain/Stroke Coordinator and ED Supervisor. “Education is critical.  It is very important that people recognize the early signs and symptoms of a heart attack and call 911 for help.”

Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) is also known as coronary angioplasty. It is a non-surgical procedure that opens narrowed or blocked coronary arteries with a balloon to relieve symptoms of heart disease or reduce heart damage during or after a heart attack.

Hospitals that have earned ACC Chest Pain Center with Primary PCI Accreditation have proven exceptional competency in treating patients with heart attack symptoms and have primary PCI available 24/7 every day of the year. This accreditation is based on rigorous onsite evaluation of the St. Francis' staff's ability to evaluate, diagnose and treat patients who may be experiencing a heart attack. As required to meet the criteria of the accreditation designation, they have streamlined their systems from admission to evaluation to diagnosis and treatment all the way through to appropriate post-discharge care and recommendations and assistance in patient lifestyle changes. In addition, they have formal agreements with other facilities that regularly refer heart attack patients to their facility for primary PCI.

“ACC Accreditation Services is proud to bestow Chest Pain Center with Primary PCI Accreditation on St. Francis Medical Center,” said Abraham Joseph, vice president of ACC Accreditation Services. “We commend St. Francis Medical Center for its demonstrated commitment to providing Northeast Louisiana with excellent cardiac care."