Rockford Memorial Gets Gold Star

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It's a place Curley Marino prefers not to spend his time. So when he had a heart attack two weeks ago, doctors at Rockford Memorial Hospital tried not to waste a single a minute.

"His crew was in here within in a time limit I don't know how long it was but I bet you it was no longer than 20-30 minutes they were here working on me.," Marino says.

That's why the American College of Cardiology says Rockford Memorial Hospital is ranked in the top three percent for treating heart attack patients. Right now, 88-percent of them go into surgery within 90 minutes and about a third are back in recovery within an hour. This is made possible by EKG's being completed within 3 minutes of patient arrival and a direct call to the cardiac cath lab.

"The minutes are saved by one page activating all doctors, all technicians, in log in taking care of patients with heart attacks," says Dr. Prasad Kilaru, Director of the Cardiac Cath Lab.

Marino credits his doctors for leaving the hospital pain-free.

"Because of their speediness and effectiveness they did to me caused me from not having a lot of after effects side effects from a heart attack," Marino says.

About 25 heart attack patients like Marino are treated at Rockford Memorial Hospital per week. And less than one percent do not survive.

Doctors at Rockford Memorial Hospital say they plan on cutting time down even more by having paramedics perform EKG's on the way to the hospital. That should shave off an additional 10 minutes.