Sophisticated Heart Care Here at Home
How can a prospective patient evaluate a hospital’s cardiovascular center? Ask about its “D2B.” That’s the “Door-to-Balloon” time, or the average number of minutes it takes to diagnose and treat heart attack patients the second they arrive.
The American College of Cardiology (ACC) and American Heart Association (AHA) recommend a D2B of 90 minutes or less. However, the D2B at the Cardiovascular Institute of Carolina at Aiken Regional Medical Centers (ARMC), is just 50 to 60 minutes. It’s one of the ways ARMC stays in step with the latest cardiovascular treatments and technologies.
Two New Advanced Cath Labs:
With two new cardiovascular labs, ARMC’s program provides a range of sophisticated procedures to treat more heart attacks, strokes and patients with vascular disease. “We add programs regularly to keep pace with innovations in CV treatments and technologies,” says Todd Franke, Manager of Cardiovascular Services. “We’ve been leaders in offering some services before they were widely available.” And because ARMC doctors* can perform the same procedures in both labs, patients can schedule treatment quickly. These include:
- Re-establishing blood flow to the brain by opening blocked carotid arteries
- Opening blockages in peripheral arteries that carry blood to the legs or kidneys
- Installing endovascular stent grafts to help prevent abdominal aortic aneurysm ruptures
- Implanting pacemakers and biventricular assist devices to improve heart function
- Repairing small holes, called atrial septal defects, between the upper chambers of the heart
Advanced technology; Improved outcomes
New, larger hi-def screens allow ARMC cardiologists to compare past and current images in 2D and 3D, with masking capabilities and quicker image times. That results in lower radiation levels for the patient. The labs are also equipped to treat patients with Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT).
After Treatment: Helping Patients Thrive through Rehab
The 12-week program takes place at University of South Carolina Aiken, where patients typically attend a one-hour session three times a week. A physician, a nurse and an exercise physiologist are present during all sessions. “People get stronger more quickly when they participate in cardiac rehab,” says Susan Holsomback, Director of Cardiopulmonary Services. “Exercise helps them return to their daily activities, and can reduce risk later on.”
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