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Finding Hidden Heart Attacks: Saint Francis Hospital is First in Illinois to Detect Hidden Heart Attacks With New Technology
Date:5/28/2009

EVANSTON, Ill., May 28 /PRNewswire/ -- According to the American Heart Association, "silent" or "hidden" heart attacks affect more than three million patients, many of whom are left untreated.

Saint Francis Hospital in Evanston, Ill. has become the first and only hospital in Illinois to offer a new test for chest pain patients that will identify heart attacks that might otherwise go undiagnosed. The uniqueness of the new test lies in a disposable vest containing 80 electrocardiogram (ECG) "leads" that detect heart rhythm and blockages in 360-degrees of the heart.

Traditional ECG tests contain only 12-leads that are applied only to the front of a patient's torso and can not monitor electrical impulses in the back or side areas of the heart, which may have undetected blockages and may be the source of chest pain. With the new ECG test, in 10 minutes or less, physicians will know more about the patient and the patient's heart condition than ever before.

The new technology, called PRIME ECG(R), provides physicians with a full 360-degree view of the heart's arteries, without surgical intervention, and can more rapidly and accurately identify closed arteries that might go unnoticed using traditional ECG equipment.

"The 80-lead ECG is the next step in advancing emergency cardiac care. Traditional tests do not detect all heart attacks or heart muscle damage or blockages in all patients. This test is an additional safeguard that can be used on patients experiencing chest pain who have tests that are otherwise normal," said Shahriar Dadkhah, M.D., a world renown cardiologist and director of Cardiology Research at Saint Francis Hospital. Dadkhah is also a Fellow, American College of Cardiology.

According to Dadkhah, the test can catch about 20 out 100 silent heart attacks which would otherwise go undetected with 12-lead ECG equipment.

Saint Francis Hospital is a Level I Trauma Center and has a long history of leadership and "firsts" in cardiac medicine and technologies. Saint Francis Hospital performed the first cardiac bypass surgery in the Chicago metropolitan area; it was the first Accredited Chest Pain Center in Illinois and is the only Accredited Chest Pain Center on Chicago's North Shore; it was the first hospital in Illinois to offer a specialized, 64-slice 3-D Computed Tomography (CT) test for the heart; and it was the first hospital in the U.S. Midwest to use the cardiac marker Troponin to diagnose heart attacks.

Saint Francis Hospital is a part of Resurrection Health Care, which was ranked in the nation's top 20 "Best Places to Work in Healthcare" by Modern Healthcare magazine. Resurrection Health Care is a family of health care services providing advanced medical care and exceptional customer service with compassion and hope. Our hospitals, nursing homes, retirement communities, home health services, behavioral health programs and numerous outpatient services are conveniently located in many Chicagoland neighborhoods.


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SOURCE Saint Francis Hospital
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