Prairie Chest Pain Network

Prairie Heart Institute of Illinois Chest Pain Network

We are blessed to live in a region with strong communities in which we feel comfortable and content. But when we have a heart problem that may require specialized care, it often means we are faced with the choice of leaving our community or worse, putting off care. This is not the case when your specialized care is provided by the Doctors of Prairie cardiologists. Our philosophy at Prairie Heart Institute is to deliver as much care as possible locally. If that is not possible, then and only then, will travel be recommended.

In addition to nearly 40 sites around Illinois where Prairie cardiologists see patients in a local hospital setting, there are specialized programs in Springfield, Belleville, Carbondale, Decatur, Effingham and Mattoon.

Being well-connected can save your life.

The most comprehensive Chest Pain Network in Illinois connects hospitals and local EMS agencies through our exclusive Prairie Heart Institute of Illinois Chest Pain Network system. When the patient arrives in the emergency room, a well-orchestrated series of events and protocols are begun for the swift diagnosis and treatment of heart attack patients.

Why A Chest Pain Network?

Although chest pain is one of the most common complaints of patients presenting to the emergency department, only 10-15 percent of patients with chest pain are having a heart attack. One of the goals of a Chest Pain Network is to significantly reduce the time it takes to determine the cause of chest pain which reduces the time to treatment during the critical early stages, when treatments are most effective.

Benefits To the Patient:

  • A rapid determination, without fear or embarrassment, of the cause of chest pain using Prairie Heart Protocols.
  • All possible treatment and follow-up provided locally.
  • A streamlined process to transfer to a specialized facility if necessary.
  • If transfer is necessary, a packet of information for the family members with food vouchers and assistance to identify lodging if necessary.
  • Coordination of care with your personal physician.

What is the Prairie Chest Pain Network?

The Prairie Heart  Institute of Illinois Chest Pain Network is a standardized approach to diagnosing and treating chest pain and heart attacks by:

  • Insuring the chest pain is given the priority at the community Emergency Department by administering an immediate EKG.
  • Appropriate triaging of chest pain patients based on the protocol developed by Prairie Heart.
  • A comprehensive protocol that ranges from immediate transport and intervention to local observation and discharge.
  • Patient and community education to recognize and react to chest pain as well as health care professionals’ education to be aware of the latest diagnostic and treatment options for their patients.

Benefits To the Community Hospital:

  • Prairie Heart comprehensive protocols that address all aspects of emergent cardiac care including STEMI, nSTEMI, Observation and Inpatient care.
  • Enhanced ability to keep appropriate patients locally and eliminate inappropriate transfers.
  • An RN Liaison from the Prairie Heart Institute of Illinois to assist with initial education and implementation of protocols as well as assistance to provide community and professional education.

Chest Pain may be the “beginnings” of a heart attack.

The warning signs of heart attack can be varied and may not always be sudden or severe. You may have just one of these symptoms, or a combination of them. They can come on suddenly or develop over minutes and get progressively worse. Symptoms usually last for at least 10 minutes.

Warning signs could include:

  • Discomfort or pain in the center of your chest – this can often feel like a heaviness, tightness or pressure. People who have had a heart attack have commonly described it as like an “elephant sitting on my chest,” “a belt that’s being tightened around my chest” or “bad indigestion.” The discomfort may spread to different parts of your upper body.
  • Discomfort in these parts of your upper body: you may have a choking feeling in your throat. Your arms may feel heavy or useless.
  • You may also experience other signs and symptoms:
    • feel short of breath
    • feel nauseous
    • have a cold sweat
    • feel dizzy or light-headed

Some people have also described feeling generally unwell or “not quite right.”



Share This