Blue Springs City Guide 59
• St. Mary’s Medical Center
St. Mary’s renovates and expands services Two major signs of progress – one visible, one through accreditation – took place at St. Mary’s Medical Center in 2011. In October, St. Mary’s earned Chest Pain Center Accreditation from the Society of Chest Pain Centers, a designation that staff members say shows the hospital’s commitment to quality health care when a patient is experiencing chest pain or discomfort. Two months later, on Dec. 14, the 30-year-old facility celebrated the $3.7 million renovation and expansion of its surgery area, the first of its kind since St. Mary’s opened in 1981. Both marks of progress took months and extensive staff member collaboration at the Blue Springs hospital. “The certification is one more notch in our belt because it shows the public that we are dedicated to caring for the community,” said Suzy DePaoli, a registered nurse at St. Mary’s with several certifications. She is the Chest Pain Center coordinator and led the chest pain accreditation work. With the accreditation, St. Mary’s aims to provide patients in the emergency room with chest pain
or discomfort the most immediate treatment to avoid heart damage. For example, DePaoli said, when patients reach the emergency room door, the goal is to perform an EKG – a test that checks for problems with the electrical activity of the heart – within five minutes. The hospital also is working to improve its community outreach related to chest conditions, including meetings at Vesper Hall about the signs and symptoms of a heart attack and what residents should do if those signs and symptoms occur. St. Mary’s Medical Center is part of Carondelet Health’s nonprofit, Catholic-sponsored health care system in Kansas City. St. Mary’s includes the Carondelet Heart Institute, a 24-hour emergency department, the Women’s Health Institute, a birthing center, a breast cancer center, radiation oncology, a rehabilitation center, outpatient therapy, the Center for Wound Care and Hyperbaric Medicine, a pain center and a stroke center.
Visit www.carondelethealth.org or call 816-228-5900 for more information. The other major sign of progress at St. Mary’s had been in the works for many years, said Aubrey Miller, nurse manager of Surgical Services at St. Mary’s, regarding the renovation of the hospital’s surgery area. Two operating rooms underwent “a complete overhaul,” Miller said, with the addition of at least one-third of the previous space to each. The rooms received flat-screen LCD high-definition monitors and brand-new LED operating room lights. With larger operating rooms, Miller said, St. Mary’s medical staff are able to take on cases that require more instruments, such as spinal fusion and total joint replacements in the hips and knees. The surgery area also received new paint and flooring, a centralized scheduling desk and new locker rooms for staff members. The preoperation and recovery area each have seven new bays, complete with new nurses’ stations and access points. “Before, it was kind of muddled the way we had our patient flow,” Miller
Susan Brawner, RN, BSN, discusses the results of a Personal Heart Risk Assessment with a patient.
said. “Now, we’re a lot more streamlined. I guess you could say that there have been fewer traffic jams in the hallway.” – Adrianne DeWeese
• Support in the community
Blood centers provide critical health service Area hospitals need blood every day, and one person’s donation can make a difference for several others. There is one fixed location in Eastern Jackson County to give blood, the Community Blood Center office at 1124 W. U.S. 40 in Blue Springs. It has recently reduced its hours and stopped collecting platelets, but donations of whole blood are still taken. Call 816-224-0728 or 816-753-
4040 to make an appointment. Hours are: u Monday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. u Friday, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. u Saturday, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Donations, including platelets, also are taken at the CBC’s office at 4040 Main St., Kansas City. It’s open seven days a week. Call 816-753-4040. The American Red Cross also holds blood drives at various loca-
tions, including several in Eastern Jackson County. To find a blood drive, go to http://www.redcrossblood. org/ and type in your ZIP code. The Red Cross says four types of transfusable products can be derived from blood: red cells, platelets, plasma and cryoprecipitate. Typically, two or three of those are produced from a pint of donated whole blood. The process of donating spe-
cific blood components – red cells, plasma or platelets – is apheresis. Blood is drawn and passed through a cell-separating machine that collects the platelets, and the rest is returned to the donor, with some saline. Platelets often are needed by patients undergoing chemotherapy, who have had an organ transplant or who have weakened immune systems. – Jeff Fox