NHRMC opens first Chest Pain Center in Eastern North Carolina

November 10, 2005
WILMINGTON – November marks the first month of operation for New Hanover Regional Medical Center’s newest service – a chest pain center. The center opened Tuesday, Nov. 1st and is the first of its kind in Eastern North Carolina.

The six-bed Chest Pain Center receives patients who come to the Emergency Department suffering from chest pain symptoms. These patients undergo diagnostic procedures to determine if they are having a cardiac event and receive interventional treatment if necessary.

Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the center is staffed with physicians and nurses specifically trained in cardiac care. Grouping patients with similar symptoms into one area means they receive focused care from staff specifically trained to handle their illnesses.

Patients suffering from symptoms of chest pain must report first to the Emergency Department where a physician evaluates them. Instead spending the next six to nine hours undergoing diagnostic tests in the Emergency Department, the patient is moved to the Chest Pain Center where those tests still occur, but now in an environment devoted specifically to that illness. This arrangement ultimately shortens the amount of time spent in the Emergency Department, thereby freeing beds for other patients.

The Chest Pain Center is equipped to process its own laboratory tests, electrocardiograms and nuclear cardiac scans to speed diagnostic results to the patient. Based on their need, patients are either sent for an interventional procedure, admitted into the tower or, ultimately, discharged to home.

The Center’s staff will also educate the patient on a variety of heart-related health topics such as ways to improve heart health and risk factors associated with heart disease. If a patient is discharged home from the center, they will receive specific instructions regarding follow-up with a cardiologist.

New Hanover Regional Medical Center is the leading provider of quality and accessible health care in Southeastern North Carolina, delivering care to all in need, without the support of taxpayer dollars. The medical center takes seriously its responsibility as an economic engine for the community, creating more than 4,500 jobs directly and another 3,000 jobs indirectly.