CANTON Mercy Medical Center recently received A Receiving Quality Achievement Award for implementing improvement measures outlined by the American Heart Association for the treatment of patients who suffer severe heart attacks.

Every year, more than 250,000 people experience an ST elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI), the most deadly type of heart attack caused by a blockage of blood flow to the heart that requires timely treatment. To prevent death, it is critical to restore blood flow as quickly as possible, either by mechanically opening the blocked vessel or by providing clot-busting medication.

The American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline program’s goal is to reduce system barriers to prompt treatment for heart attacks, beginning with the 9-1-1 call and continuing through hospital treatment. Mercy is recognized for having a 85 percent composite adherence and at least 24 consecutive months of 75 percent or higher compliance on all Mission: Lifeline STEMI Receiving Center quality measures to improve the quality of care for STEMI patients.

In addition, the GOLD PLUS designation recognizes that Mercy has not only reached an achievement score of 75 percent or greater on all Mission: Lifeline Receiving Center Quality Measures, but also has demonstrated at least a 75 percent achievement on First Door to Device time under 120 minutes for STEMI transfer patients from other facilities.

"At Mercy, we are dedicated to improving the quality and speed of care for our heart attack patients," said Mercy Heart Center Medical Director Dr. Ahmed Sabe in a news release. "Our emergency heart care innovations have included installing a fully functional cardiac catheterization lab in our emergency department, making it possible to provide some of the world’s fastest door-to-balloon times that save lives and heart muscle. The Mission: Lifeline award is a testament to the effectiveness of what we’re doing at Mercy."