Morris Hospital’s new cath lab elevates heart care

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Cardiologist Ari de la Hera, M.D., performs a heart procedure on a patient in the new cath lab at Morris Hospital. | SUPPLIED PHOTO


In the last quarter of 2012, Morris Hospital reinvested in its commitment to providing lifesaving cardiac care by replacing its 10-year-old cardiovascular angiographic system with the Siemens Artis Zee, a $1.2 million piece of equipment that allows cardiologists to detect blockages and restore blood flow to the heart, all while viewing the coronary arteries on a 56-inch digital screen.

“While we already had much to be proud of with the outstanding quality of cardiac care we have been providing, now we have facilities and equipment that are as state-of-the-art as it gets, with improved digital images, less radiation exposure, and less contrast use,” said Mark Deck, Manager of Cardiovascular Services at Morris Hospital.

If there is a blockage, the cardiologist restores blood flow during a procedure called angioplasty. This involves threading a balloon catheter to the blockage and inflating the balloon so the obstructing plaque is forced against the artery walls, restoring blood flow to the heart. Many times, a small mesh tube called a stent is simultaneously placed inside the artery to help keep it open.

The physicians and staff at Morris Hospital are particularly proud of their “door-to-balloon” time, the term used to describe the amount of time it takes from the moment a heart attack victim arrives at a hospital until the blocked artery is opened using angioplasty. The average door-to-balloon time at Morris Hospital is 57 minutes, well below the national average of 64 minutes. Last December, the team at Morris Hospital achieved a door-to-balloon time of just 12 minutes using the new angiographic system.

—Provided by Morris Hospital