Willis-Knighton Medical Center Receives Chest Pain with PCI Accreditation Renewal

Feb 11, 2019

Willis-Knighton Medical Center has received a renewed designation as a Chest Pain Center with Primary PCI Accreditation from the American College of Cardiology. Willis-Knighton received its first Chest Pain Accreditation in January 2006 after establishing protocols for heart attack treatment throughout the health system. It is the only local hospital with this designation.

The PCI designation means Willis-Knighton uses percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) as primary treatment for acute heart attacks. PCI, or coronary angioplasty, is a nonsurgical procedure that opens narrowed or blocked coronary arteries with a balloon to relieve symptoms of heart disease or reduce heart damage during or after a heart attack.

“This designation confirms Willis-Knighton’s commitment to providing the highest quality care for our patients,” said Kathy Walker, director of Willis-Knighton Heart & Vascular Institute. “It demonstrates our expertise in caring for heart attack patients or patients at risk for heart attacks by meeting or exceeding a wide set of stringent criteria.”

The accreditation was based on a rigorous on-site evaluation of the staff’s ability to evaluate, diagnose and treat patients who may be experiencing a heart attack.

Every year, more than 790,000 Americans have a heart attack, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The most common symptom of a heart attack for both men and women is chest pain or discomfort. However, women are more likely to have atypical symptoms. Other heart attack symptoms include, but are not limited to, tingling or discomfort in one or both arms, back, shoulder, neck or jaw, shortness of breath, cold sweat, unusual tiredness, heartburn-like feeling, nausea or vomiting, sudden dizziness and fainting.

Willis-Knighton Medical Center and the Willis-Knighton Heart & Vascular Institute feature the most comprehensive heart services in the Ark-La-Tex. As the region’s leading provider of cardiovascular services, conditions treated range from diseases of the heart to structural heart conditions to complex heart surgery.