Golden Opportunity for Chest Pain Centers to Lead the Way in the Eradication of Heart Attack Deaths in the United States.

Chest Pain Centers offer a New Level of Heart Attack Care through their targeted focus on early symptom recognition and early treatment of Heart Attacks. This is made possible through prodromal symptoms occurring in over 50% of Heart Attack Patients and taking the needed steps to capture patients in this phase. Education on this approach has the acronym EHAC (Early Heart Attack Care) to identify it. We let the Public know that they don't have to drive around in the Hospitals's parking lot until their chest discomfort becomes painful enough to be considered an "emergency" to come into the Hospital.

We have come a long way in this type of care. In the not too distant past, if you came into the Emergency Room with mild chest discomfort, you were "yelled at"….you got the GOMER mentality of the Physician working the ER……GOMER standing for "Get Out of My Emergency Room" unless you have "real pain"….the kind you have when you have an Elephant sitting on your chest. We did not appreciate back then that the severity of a Heart Attack did not depend on the amount of chest discomfort/chest pain that the patient was experiencing.

We know NOW….and that is why, we educate differently in the EHAC Program ( Now a days, we thank you for coming in Early so that we can get at the early myocardial ischemia….that is occurring before the coronary vessel is beginning to occlude….and the heart muscle begins to die. We do this mainly in the Observation part of the Chest Pain Center. It is here where patients with mild chest discomfort come. The Unit is used to sort out the patients (15%) having an ischemic problem from those patients (85%) having chest discomfort coming from another origin. The latter patients can be safely sent home.

Interestingly enough, it has been found that these patients have higher risk factors than the Population at Large. This becomes a "Wow Moment" in that it has been shown that patients before they go home from the Hospital want to know,"what can they do in order not to come back to the Hospital with a Heart Attack?"……..Our Response, "funny that you should ask ,here is what you need to do to reduce the chances of you having a Heart Attack and coming back".

Viola! This is a Teachable Moment! It is a moment in which the patient is open to listening to you and really obeying your Instructions. It is here where the Chest Pain Centers focus more of their attention and provide the latest information on Heart Attack Prevention. Interestingly enough, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the American Heart Association have just put together the "Million Hearts Initiative" whose purpose is to reduce by a Million the number of Heart Attacks occurring over the next five years. This is to be accomplished by applying what we have learned by Prevention. These Best Practices are called the ABCS (Aspirin a day,BP Control, Cholesterol Control and cessation of Cigarette Smoking).

Why is this providing a Golden Opportunity for Chest Pain Centers throughout the United States to Lead in the Eradification of Heart Attack Deaths?

Just think about it. If we do our Job well on the Front End… capturing Patients in the Community and getting them to come in early… for early treatment, we will acutely be preventing heart attacks from doing heart damage and possibly death……and on the Back End, if we find out that 85% of patients with mild chest discomfort are not having a Heart Attack, we can safely send home this High Risk Group and using the "Teachable Moment Concept", we can properly instruct them about the Benefits of Risk Factor Reduction.

Right now, we have about 700 Chest Pain Centers with an Observation Unit……most of these are sending safely home 1500 patients each year…..If we do the Math, we will be Educating One Million patients about the Benefits of Risk Factor Reduction….and we will be capturing many patients with a Heart Attack at an Early Stage (prodromal).

Truly, the Chest Pain Centers will be playing a Major Part in Heart Attack Eradification in the United States….and it will get even better when we go from 700 Hospitals with Chest Pain Centers to 5000 such Units in the near Future.


Best of Luck in Saving A Life,
Raymond D.Bahr MD

Dr. Raymond Bahr's Articles & Videos

Dr. Raymond Bahr writes articles about the EHAC movement. He has also done several videos that outline the importance of Early Heart Attack Care.

Meet the Deputy Heart Attack Founder

Dr. Raymond Bahr

Dr. Raymond Bahr is passionate about cardiac care and preventive education. As the founding father of the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care (now ACC Accreditation Services), his passion to disseminate lifesaving information is a driving force behind the Deputy Heart Attack Program. Throughout his career, he has created multiple programs to help others understand the life saving measures that can save a life. In 1981 at St. Agnes Hospital, Dr. Bahr established the Chest Pain Emergency Department (CPED), the first such unit in the world. The initial purpose of this CPED was prompt and effective treatment of patients presenting with heart attack/sudden death. The CPED was coupled with an aggressive education program that taught the community the early warning signs of a heart attack. This education program extended to middle and high school students via health and science curricula.