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Heart Attack Care

An acute myocardial infarction (AMI)—or heart attack—happens when one of the heart’s arteries becomes blocked and the supply of blood and oxygen to part of the heart muscle is slowed or stopped. When the heart muscle doesn’t get the oxygen and nutrients it needs, the affected heart tissue may die. These measures show some of recommended treatments provided, if appropriate, for most adults who have had a heart attack.

Learn more about heart attacks, symptoms, prevention, treatment

Hospital Discharges 7/1/2013 through 6/30/2014

Percent of Heart Attack Patients Given Aspirin at Discharge

Billings Clinic 100%
State of Montana Avg 100%
United States Avg 99%

Blood clots can block blood vessels. Aspirin can help prevent blood clots from forming or help dissolve blood clots that have formed. Following a heart attack, continued use of aspirin may help reduce the risk of another heart attack.

Aspirin can have side effects like stomach inflammation, bleeding, or allergic reactions. Talk to your health care provider before using aspirin on a regular basis to make sure it’s safe for you. This measure shows what percentage of patients were given aspirin upon leaving the hospital.

Percent of Heart Attack Patients Given PCI Within 90 Minutes of Arrival

Billings Clinic 96%
State of Montana Avg 96%
United States Avg 96%

The heart is a muscle that gets oxygen through blood vessels. Sometimes blood clots can block these blood vessels, and the heart cannot get enough oxygen. This can cause a heart attack.

Percutaneous coronary interventions (PCI) are procedures that are among the most effective ways to open blocked blood vessels and help prevent further heart muscle damage. A PCI is performed by a doctor to open the blockage and increase blood flow in blocked blood vessels. Improving blood flow to your heart as quickly as possible lessens the damage to your heart muscle, and it also can increase your chances of surviving a heart attack.

There are three procedures commonly described by the term PCI. These procedures all involve a catheter (a flexible tube) that is inserted, often through your leg, and guided through the blood vessels to the blockage. The three procedures are:

  • Angioplasty - a balloon is inflated to open the blood vessel.
  • Stenting - a small wire tube called a stent is placed in the blood vessel to hold it open
  • Atherectomy - a blade or laser cuts through and removes the blockage

Standards for care say that patients should receive a PCI within 90 minutes of arriving at the hospital. This measure shows what percentage of patients got a PCI within this time period.

Heart Attack Patients Given A Prescription For A Statin At Discharge

Billings Clinic 100%
State of Montana Avg 99%
United States Avg 99%

Statins are drugs used to lower cholesterol. Cholesterol is a fat (also called a lipid) that your body needs to work properly. Cholesterol levels that are too high can increase your chance of getting heart disease, stroke, and other problems. For patients who have had one or more heart attacks and have high cholesterol, taking statins can lower the chance that they’ll have another heart attack or die.

This measure shows the percent of patients who had a heart attack who got a prescription for a statin upon leaving the hospital. Patients who shouldn’t take statins aren’t included in this measure.

The percentage includes only patients whose history and condition indicate the treatment is appropriate. Talk to your doctor if you have questions about your treatment.

For more information about heart health, check:

Related Quality Information

For help in making good decisions about your care, compare Billings Clinic to other Health Care Organizations by visiting Hospital Compare or HealthGrades.

Consumer Reports Ranks Hospital Safety. See how Billings Clinic fares in the Nation in the Consumer Reports Article.

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