National Emergency Medicine Assoc. (NEMA)


HeartLINES ...a quarterly report to friends of The National Heart Council, a special program of the National Emergency Medicine Association


Dear Friends and Supporters

In 1986, NEMA provided a seed grant to a man with a dream - Raymond D. Bahr, M.D., Director of the Paul Dudley White Coronary Care System at St. Agnes Hospital, in Baltimore, Maryland. Dr. Bahr’s drive and foresight was integral in establishing the nation’s first Chest Pain Emergency Center at St. Agnes. His dream, however, went beyond just one center and the patients it serves. Dr. Bahr intends to reduce heart attack from the #1 killer of American adults, to #2, by the

year 2000.

Since its beginning, the Paul Dudley White Center has become a nationwide model for the creation of 600 similar units across the country. Dr. Bahr was also a catalyst for the creation of the Early Heart Attack Care (EHAC) program, educating the public about the early warning signs of heart attack and heart attack prevention. Information describing the early warning signs and the critical need for quick response is disseminated through brochures, films, articles and campaigns designed for both private and corporate settings. Early recognition and treatment is the first and best means of reducing the damage and death caused by heart attack. Dr. Bahr, put his heart into a dream and then made it a reality.

Howard Farrington
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Dr. Bahr Delivers The EHAC Message

Thirteen years ago, St. Agnes Hospital in Baltimore, MD opened The Chest Pain Emergency Center, the first of its kind in the nation. The emergency rooms there are specifically designed to treat the early symptoms of heart attack, as well as provide patient and community education programs about heart attack prevention. The center’s driving force is Dr. Raymond Bahr.

Under his leadership, the center is a model for other centers, hosting 325 hospitals from 40 states and 5 countries. The inspiration of St. Agnes has resulted in over 600 similar units nationwide.

What this means to you, may save your life. Many are damaged for life if proper medical intervention does not take place in the first phases of heart attack. More than 50% of heart attacks have early signs that can not only save lives but help people lead healthy lives. Heart attack has a beginning and early intervention makes the difference between life and death, between no damage and significant damage.

Now through the Early Heart Attack Care (EHAC) program, Dr. Bahr and his associates are telling the public that it can play a major part in solving the heart attack problem. Studies show that damage control with heart attack is possible if patients are treated with clot dissolvers within the first hour. 85% of damage occurs within the first two hours. To delay treatment results in heart damage and complications that could have been avoided. Only 10% of patients receive this critical treatment within the first hour.

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Why do we wait?
Patients and those around them usually deny the beginnings of a heart attack until it's too late. Symptoms exist but are not recognized or they are ignored. Dr. Bahr advocates education- know the early signs of heart attack, and "the buddy system"- someone that will stop the delaying process and make patients check out these early warning symptoms.
Designated chest pain centers such as the one at St. Agnes, are user friendly when patients come in with these mild symptoms, diminishing the fear of a "false alarm". After being checked out, patients are then provided with information on other risk reducing factors. Says Dr. Bahr, "Awareness here is not the total answer. We have to change our behavior as well." EHAC tells us how.

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What is a Chest Pain Center?

A Chest Pain Center (CPC) is an expansion of the hospital's heart station into the emergency department. It serves as a command post for quickly identifying and attending to patients experiencing or at risk to experience heart attack.

A CPC includes these seven features and functions:

  1. Fast track for patients with myocardial infarction.
  2. Observation area for patients with acute myocardial ischemia
  3. Detection program to target and educate patients with coronary artery disease (based on a positive stress test) and patients with increased risk factors (based on history and blood tests).
  4. Education outreach program in conjuction with the hospital's rehabilitation department, to communicate to the public that warning signs precede heart attacks.
  5. Medical education programs involving CQI, HCFA MI indicators, NHAAP recommendations, etc. The goal is the relentless pursuit of teamwork for maximum benefit to the patient, hospital and society
  6. Proper staffing ratio of critical care nurses and physicians, with a continuous retraining for heart attack management
  7. Appropriate technology that is timely and available within 24 hours, with prompt backup interpretation. These include enzymes (CPK/MB, myopglobin and Troponin),ST monitoring, technetium sestamibi, nuclear testing, echo and stress testing

If you are interested in the changing dynamics of Chest Pain Centers or the Early Heart Attack Care Program contact:

Dr. Raymond D. Bahr, M.D., F.A.C.P.
St. Agnes Hospital
900 Caton Avenue
Baltimore, Md 21229

"Together we can reduce heart attack deaths from being the No.1 health problem in the US, and do it within our lifetime." Dr.Bahr

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For your copy of:
EARLY HEART ATTACK CARE: How You Can Be a Heart-Saver

Write: Dr. Raymond Bahr
Paul Dudley White Coronary Care
St. Agnes Hospital
900 Caton Avenue
Baltimore, Maryland 21229
Phone: 410-368-3200
Fax: 410-368-3207

Take Heart - Inform yourself

Remember: Prevention is the best treatment

Where There’s a Will, There’s a Way!!

NEMA is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization. We receive no federal funding but are supported exclusively through the generosity of private donors across the country.To support the life saving efforts of the National Emergency Medicine Association, you may send your donations or make your bequest to our address below.

Making a gift to The National Heart Council whether during your lifetime or through your will -- is one of the most gratifying acts a person can perform. You know that your gift will go to support an organization whose goals and ideals you share.

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  1. Don’t open the door in a hotel or motel without verifying who it is. If they claim to be an employee, call the front desk and verify their purpose and access.

  2. When returning to your room late, use the main entrance. Be careful when entering parking lots.

  3. Close the door securely and use all the locking devices.

  4. Don’t display room keys in public or leave them where they can be easily stolen.

  5. Do not display large amounts of cash or expensive jewelry.

  6. Don’t invite strangers to your hotel room or into your car

  7. Place all valuables in the hotel safety deposit box

  8. Do not leave valuables in your car

  9. Lock sliding doors, windows and connecting room doors

  10. Report suspicious activity

NEMA produces an award winning radio health show, The "Heart of the Matter" broadcast daily nationwide. The lively interview format provides current health information on a wide range of topics. 


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Copyright 1997 National Emergency Medicine Assoc., Inc.
Last modified: December 29, 2021