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Chattanooga, TN 37403

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Accredited Chest Pain Center

Erlanger is Cycle IV Chest Pain Accredited with PCI. What does this mean to you?

Patients who arrive in Erlanger’s Emergency Department complaining of chest pain or discomfort receive the immediate treatment necessary to avoid as much heart damage as possible. Our state-of-the-art heart care works seamlessly with area emergency medical services and other departments to ensure you get the treatment you need during the critical early stages of a heart attack.

In recognition of Erlanger’s heart care services, Erlanger received the Cycle IV Chest Pain Center Accreditation with Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI) on May 9, 2013. PCI is commonly known as angioplasty, a procedure used to treat narrowed arteries found in coronary heart disease.  The Cycle IV accreditation, awarded for a three-year period, is the highest and most difficult level of certification to achieve. Erlanger is the first and only facility in the region to earn the Cycle IV accreditation.

To achieve the highest level of accreditation from the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care, Erlanger underwent a rigorous re-evaluation and refinement of heart care processes that integrate the industry’s best practices and newest standards into its cardiac care services.

The Accredited Chest Pain Center at Erlanger Health System demonstrated its expertise and commitment to quality patient care by meeting or exceeding a wide set of stringent criteria from the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care. Areas in which a Chest Pain Center must demonstrate expertise include:

  • Integrating the emergency department with the local emergency medical system
  • Assessing, diagnosing, and treating patients quickly
  • Effectively treating patients with low risk for acute coronary syndrome and no assignable cause for their symptoms
  • Continually seeking to improve processes and procedures
  • Ensuring Chest Pain Center personnel competency and training
  • Maintaining organizational structure and commitment
  • Having a functional design that promotes optimal patient care
  • Supporting community outreach programs that educate the public to promptly seek medical care if they display symptoms of a possible heart attack

Chattanooga’s First Cardiovascular Hospital

1960 - First Cardiac Cath Lab in Chattanooga
1960 - First open heart surgery program in Chattanooga
1967 - First coronary care unit
1974 - First Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery
1979 - First cardiac rehab program
1982 - First balloon angioplasty
1995 - First chest pain center
2000 - First Vascular Lab
2004 - First EndoVascular Surgical Suite
2004 - First Code STEMI protocol for treating heart attacks faster
2010 - First academic cardiology group

Since performing the region’s first open-heart surgery in 1960, Erlanger’s Heart and Vascular Center has become the region’s leader in complete cardiac care. The Heart and Vascular Center offers the latest technology for diagnosing and treating heart diseases, including a full range of diagnostic testing. Our services address the needs of adults, as well as children, working with the pediatric cardiologists at Children’s Hospital at Erlanger.

Catheterization Lab

Although Erlanger opened the region’s first Cath Lab in 1960, the lab received its most recent renovation and modernization in 2003, making it the most complete Cath Lab in Chattanooga and the surrounding area. The lab is staffed by a full complement of cardiovascular specialists and registered nurses, registered respiratory therapists, registered radiological technologists and registered cardiovascular invasive specialists. The lab is equipped with three cardiovascular and peripheral invasive suites and one large suite dedicated to electrophysiology (the study of abnormal heart rhythms). A flexible and ultramodern space, the Erlanger Cath Lab offers patients in our region the latest options in diagnosis and treatment.

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Endovascular Suite

In January 2004, Erlanger opened Chattanooga’s first EndoVascular Surgical Suite expanding Erlanger’s current angiography and surgical capabilities to include additional diagnostic and treatment procedures.

Angiogram or arteriograms allows physicians to gain a closer look at blood vessels than is possible with any other means such as an MRI, CT scan or ultrasound. Vascular surgeons can make a small needle puncture in the groin or the arm and guide a catheter to vessels where they may be blockages and where stents can be placed to open arteries.

While catheterization techniques have been used for some time in diagnosis and treatment of heart blockages and placement of cardiac stents, the EndoVascular suite at Erlanger expands these capabilities to the treatment of a wide variety of vascular diseases. These may include abdominal aneurysms or blockages in the arteries of the legs or abdomen associated with peripheral vascular and kidney diseases.

Advantages of the EndoVascular Suite include:

  • Diagnosis and treatment may be conducted at the same time; treatable problems can be swiftly addressed by clearing blockages, placing stents, dissolving aneurysms, or other treatments.
  • Conditions that once required surgery with several days or weeks of recovery time can now be treated in a single day. A tiny needle puncture replaces extensive surgical incisions.
  • The suite is a fully-functional Operating Room, so that if traditional surgical methods must be introduced, the capabilities are right there.

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Chest Pain Center

Erlanger’s Chest Pain Center demonstrates expertise in the following areas.

  • integrating the emergency department with the local Emergency Medical System
  • assessing, diagnosing and treating patients quickly
  • effectively treating patients with low risk for acute coronary syndrome (ACS) and no assignable cause to their symptoms
  • having a functional design that promotes optimal patient care
  • ensuring Chest Pain Center personnel optimal patient care
  • maintaining organizational structure and commitment
  • continually seeking to improve processes and procedures
  • supporting community outreach programs that educate the public to promptly seek medical care if they display symptoms of a possible heart attack.

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Emergency Heart & Stroke Center

If you have a heart attack or a stroke, minutes can mean the difference between life and death. STEMI refers to what is typically considered a heart attack. Code STEMI (Code ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction) may sound confusing, but to the Erlanger Heart and Stroke Center staff, it is a matter of life and death when minutes can make the difference.  A STEMI must be treated quickly with medications or intervention to prevent death of heart muscle. To you and your loved ones, Code STEMI means faster transport and that increased chance of survival because you chose Erlanger – the first hospital in the region to initiate this program.

The Center offers a proven protocol for the rapid identification, diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular related illnesses. This process enables the physician to reliably identify or exclude heart attack within two to four hours of patient arrival and identify patients at significant risk for future heart attack within 6 to 8 hours of arrival. At other hospitals, patient may be admitted for in-hospital evaluations that take 24 to 36 hours to complete.

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Family and Patient Support

Erlanger offers a Family Liaison Representative who works to keep families informed while family members are undergoing surgery or interventional procedures. This liaison provides support and information and directs families to amenities available at the hospital during their stay.

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Hypertension Management Center

The only program in the region treating children, adolescents and adults

The Hypertension Management Center is headed by one of the only certified hypertension specialists in the region. This center, the only one of its kind in the region, offers hypertension risk assessment, medication adjustments, laboratory monitoring, exercise and diet guidelines, cardiovascular profiling and 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure monitoring.

If you or a loved one has hypertension, dyslipidemia or metabolic syndrome, call (423) 778-LINK for a more information on the Hypertension Management Center.

3-in-1 Vascular Screening

The Erlanger Hypertension Management Center has developed a screening package that can identify vascular disease even before you have symptoms. The 3-in-1 Vascular Screening includes a carotid artery ultrasound scan, an ultrasound scan of the aorta to detect abdominal aortic aneurysms and a Doppler exam for peripheral arterial disease. Three screenings for just $85. A doctor will review your results at the time of the test. To schedule a screening, call the (423) 778-5465.

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Vascular Lab

Located on-site, allows physicians to pinpoint clots and clogged blood vessels in the arms, legs and neck

Vascular Clinics

The Heart and Vascular Center offers free disease, peripheral vascular disease or other heart or vascular-related disease at Erlanger Bledsoe, Erlanger North, Erlanger East and in North Georgia each month. For more information, call (423) 778-LINK

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Cardiac Rehabilitation at the Chattanooga LifeStyle Center

Erlanger’s highly trained staff of specialist makes the Erlanger Heart Center the region’s most comprehensive cardiac service, offering the area’s first cardiac rehabilitation program that is certified by the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation. A multidisciplinary team of experts, including cardiologists, cardiac nurses, dietitians, exercise physiologist and a behaviorist, designs a rehabilitation program based on your personal needs and goals. During your rehabilitation, you remain under the care of your personal physician who receives regular reports on your progress.

The program is divided into three phases providing patients with a prescription of life. For more information call (423) 778-9400 to arrange for a tour or for more information.

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Community Outreach

Working through HealthLink Plus, Erlanger’s free hospital membership program, the Heart and Vascular Centers offers a full program of screenings, lectures and other events to educate the community about the prevention, detection and treatment of heart and vascular diseases. For more information about upcoming classes, lectures and screenings and how to join HealthLink Plus call (423) 778-LINK.

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