State Approval Means Quicker Interventions For Heart Attacks Which Will Improve Outcomes
Lab’s Added Capabilities Will Help Meet Critical Cardiac Care Needs for Significant Population
White Plains, NY (January 27, 2010) – White Plains Hospital Center’s Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory has received approval from the New York State Department of Health to provide emergency and elective angioplasty, a minimally invasive procedure to restore blood flow to the heart.
The cath lab’s added capabilities, which are expected to take effect shortly, will provide a critical health care need for the first time to the communities served by the Hospital including White Plains, Scarsdale, Harrison, Mamaroneck, Rye Brook, Port Chester, Hartsdale, and parts of Elmsford, Eastchester and Yonkers. The combined population of these communities is more than 250,000 and increases on weekdays to about 400,000 with the influx of office workers, shoppers and visitors—principally in the White Plains area.
White Plains Hospital Center will be the only community hospital in Westchester County that is licensed to provide emergency and elective angioplasty. The ability to provide emergency angioplasty means that the Hospital will also become a designated STEMI Center by the Westchester County EMS Council. Under the Westchester County STEMI protocol, EMS is advised to bring patients with EKG changes and symptoms consistent with an ST segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) to the nearest hospital with appropriate interventional cardiac services. Similar protocols are in place in New York City and other areas of the country.
The Cardiac Cath Lab is located on the floor immediately above the Hospital’s new and expanded Emergency Department which celebrated its grand opening today. The cath lab’s close proximity to the Emergency Department means that heart attack patients will be able to be transferred quickly for rapid treatment by the team of interventional cardiology specialists, nurses and support staff.
Angioplasty is an interventional procedure in which a thin, balloon-tipped catheter is threaded into a blocked heart artery, and the balloon is expanded to compress plaque against the artery wall to restore blood flow. In many cases, a physician will place a stent inside the artery to help it remain open. A stent is a tiny mesh-like “scaffolding” device that remains permanently inside the artery. Some stents are “drug-eluting”, and are coated with medication that further prevents restenosis (reblocking or narrowing) of the artery.
Mark A. Apfelbaum, M.D., the lab’s Medical Director and Director of NewYork-Presbyterian Healthcare System Cath Labs at the Center of Interventional Vascular Therapy, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center (NYP/Columbia), said: “This is a major development for the communities we serve. It means our cardiologists will be able to intervene early in emergency situations which will help improve patient outcomes.” He added: “By intervening rapidly, we prevent the heart muscle from being damaged when the supply of blood is severely compromised. In our profession, we have a phrase—‘time is muscle’— that succinctly conveys the urgency of treating heart attack patients immediately.”
Jeffrey W. Moses, M.D., Medical Director of WPHC’s Invasive Cardiology Services and Director, Center for Interventional Therapy, NYP/Columbia, and an internationally recognized interventional cardiologist added: “With heart disease the number one cause of death in the U.S., the comprehensive coronary interventions now available in the cath lab will contribute significantly to the quality of care for a significant portion of Westchester County.”
Jon B. Schandler, Hospital President and CEO, stated: “The Cardiac Cath Lab’s enhanced capabilities represent another milestone in White Plains Hospital Center’s ongoing commitment to high quality health care. After many years of pursuing state approval for an angioplasty service, we are very pleased to finally be able to provide this much-needed advanced level of care for our community.”