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Fort Hamilton emergency department eclipses national standards for heart care


Every year, more than 735,000 Americans suffer a heart attack. When it happens, seconds matter, so it’s important to know where to get the best treatment – and quickly. For advanced heart care, Fort Hamilton Hospital, part of Kettering Health Network, is equipped to handle critical cardiac care with the most innovative tools and procedures available.

When patients in Hamilton need quality, comprehensive cardiac care, they find it locally at Fort Hamilton Hospital. The hospital offers complete cardiac care including echocardiograms, vascular ultrasound, renal ultrasound, stress tests, event and Holter monitoring, electrocardiograms, cardiac catheterization and intervention (ballooning and stenting in the heart and lower extremities). Fort Hamilton’s emergency cardiac care is what shines as among the best in the region, and it is raising the bar on lifesaving interventional cardiology.

When every second counts

“Door-to-balloon time” is the period from when a cardiac patient arrives at the hospital to the moment the artery is opened up in the heart. The national benchmark for door-to-balloon time is less than 90 minutes, but the Fort Hamilton emergency department and cardiac catheterization lab recently achieved this in only 12 minutes.

That efficiency is the result of established protocols for care. Fort Hamilton Hospital follows the recommendations set in place by the American Heart Association (AHA) for care. These programs are designed to help get the patient treated more quickly, because every moment matters, affecting vital heart tissue and impacting a person’s survival and recovery.

Fort Hamilton Hospital’s emergency department and cardiac catheterization lab work together to use a bypass protocol to get the patient treated as soon as possible.

“When EMS is dispatched to someone’s home during a heart attack or other cardiac event, EMS in the field can transmit the EKG and other vitals on the way to the hospital, giving our staff a clear picture of the situation before the patient ever arrives,” explains Dawn Kimbrell, clinical nurse manager for cardiovascular services at Fort Hamilton Hospital. “Upon arrival, the patient goes straight from the ambulance to the cardiac catheter lab for treatment.”

The hospital’s cardiologists and staff are highly trained and extremely engaged, many with a background in intensive care.

Efficiency is a huge piece of patient care, because ‘time is tissue,’” says Joey Brumfield, who is the emergency department clinical nurse manager. “Other places where I have worked hit that door-to-balloon time in 30-35 minutes, and those are good times. To do what we’re doing at Fort Hamilton is really impressive.”

If a patient requires a higher level of care at a rapid speed, Fort Hamilton Hospital is connected to a larger system of care through Kettering Health Network. Kettering Mobile Care and a partnership with MedFlight ensure patients can be transferred quickly and efficiently when needed.

Fort Hamilton Hospital is part of the community and puts the needs of the patient first. “We are doing great things and want the chance to give back to you, not just to give you great care but excellent care,” Brumfield notes. “Our team really takes pride in our work, and no one here is happy just doing good work. They want to be better every day, for our patients and our community.”

Fort Hamilton Hospital is located just off of State Route 129, near downtown Hamilton, and offers 24/7, full-service emergency care. For more information about Fort Hamilton Hospital’s cardiac services, go online to www.KetteringHealth.org.