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The Tidelands Health Newsroom

Published on January 12, 2015

Georgetown Memorial’s chest pain center earns national accreditation

Monday, January 12, 2015

When someone is suffering from chest pain, the ability of health care workers to respond rapidly and deliver quality care can mean the difference between life and death.

Now residents in the Tidelands area can be treated at a fully accredited chest pain center at Georgetown Memorial Hospital, which has earned accreditation for its commitment to delivering consistent, quality care and meeting or exceeding national quality-of-care measures in acute cardiac medicine.

The accreditation, which is for three years, is by the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care, an international organization whose goal is to reduce mortality rate of these patients by teaching the public to 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.

“This accreditation is particularly gratifying because it signifies that Georgetown Memorial has met standards of excellence for providing care to patients experiencing chest pain or a coronary event,” said Dr. Mitchell Devlin, an interventional cardiologist who is on the staffs of Georgetown Memorial Hospital, Waccamaw Community Hospital and the Medical University of South Carolina.

 “Heart attacks are the leading cause of death in the United States and the second-leading cause of death in South Carolina, and those numbers are growing as our population ages. We must be prepared to deliver the best care that we possibly can, from education to post-acute care.”

Accreditation sets up protocols that allow physicians to reduce time to treatment during the critical early stages of a heart attack, when treatments are most effective, and to better monitor patients who show symptoms of a coronary event.

“Careful and accurate monitoring is important because it helps ensure that patients are neither sent home too early nor needlessly admitted,” said Dr. Devlin , who practices at Inlet Cardiopulmonary & Associates in Pawleys Island and Murrells inlet.

To earn the accreditation, Georgetown Memorial’s chest pain center, which is located in the emergency department, met or exceeded a range of stringent criteria, including the implementation of protocols for rapid diagnosis and treatment, the establishment of community outreach programs to educate the public on heart attack symptoms, the creation of processes for continual improvement and continuing education for chest pain center staff, and the integration of the emergency department with local EMS.

More than 5 million Americans visit hospitals each year with chest pain, and 600,000 people die annually from heart disease, according to statistics from the SCPC.

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Tidelands Health is the largest health care provider in Georgetown and Horry counties. With three hospitals and nearly 50 outpatient locations that stretch from Andrews to North Myrtle Beach, Tidelands Health is improving lives across the Tidelands region.