ONTARIO – Avita Health System has opened a level II cardiac catheterization (cath) laboratory at Ontario Hospital. The community now has access to emergency heart attack care, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at Avita Ontario Hospital. Services include cardiac catheterization, angioplasty, stent placement, intravascular ultrasound, and coronary angiography.
“We recognized a need for quicker access to heart attack care in Ontario,” noted Jerome Morasko, President/CEO of Avita Health System. “With the high volume of walk-in heart attack patients in our emergency department, we knew we needed to go from a level I to a level II cath lab at Avita Ontario Hospital. This enables our cardiologists to place stents and perform other cardiac interventions without having to transport patients to Avita Galion Hospital. Time is muscle, so the faster patients can be treated, the greater the potential to save lives.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States. Every year, about 790,000 Americans have a heart attack, which is one every 40 seconds. The chances of surviving a heart attack increases significantly when emergency treatment begins quickly.
“When experiencing a heart attack, a delay in restoring blood flow to the heart muscle can result in greater damage and a higher likelihood of death,” explained Dr. Michael Davis, Interventional Cardiologist and Medical Director of Cath Lab Services at Avita. “With the level II cath lab at Ontario Hospital, we will be able to diagnose and treat acute blockages in the coronary arteries on-site, which gives the community increased access to potentially life-saving care.”
Avita opened its first level II cath lab at Galion Hospital in August of 2018. For patients who need emergency heart catheterizations, the heart attack alert team at Galion Hospital has produced an average door-to-balloon time of 42 minutes, almost 50 minutes below the performance standards established by the American Heart Association. Door-to-balloon is a term that describes the length of time between when a patient arrives at the hospital with a heart attack and when the patient receives angioplasty. The longer the wait, the more heart tissue dies.
Dr. Davis noted, “Avita treats heart attack patients in half the time recommended by the national guidelines. This timely care saves lives, improves outcomes, and has made Avita a leader in heart attack care.”
To help reduce door-to-balloon time, Avita uses LIFENET System, a premier, web-based data network that is designed to connect EMS teams and hospital personnel. LIFENET enables paramedics in the field to provide Avita’s heart attack alert team with critical patient data so they can quickly identify heart attack patients and have staff prepared before the patient arrives.
According to Bob White, Director of Cath Lab Services at Avita, “Our staff of experienced Avita cardiologists, from renowned medical centers, will provide emergent heart care within minutes of home. In a heart attack, every minute matters to save heart muscle. That is why our cardiologists, as well as our trained interventional staff of nurses and technologists, are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.”
Symptoms of a heart attack include chest pain, shortness of breath, pain or discomfort in the upper body, nausea, lightheadedness, and cold sweats. Individuals experiencing these symptoms should seek emergency medical care as quickly as possible. Patients who seek heart attack treatment at Ontario Hospital will be cared for by a 24/7 heart attack alert team that is specially-trained to perform cardiac interventions.