DeKalb Medical Saves Over 1,000 Hearts Through PCI
November 26, 2013
The DeKalb Medical Heart and Vascular Institute has reached an incredible milestone of saving more than 1,000 hearts by providing successful percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) services. PCI, commonly known as coronary angioplasty and stenting, or simply angioplasty, is a non-surgical procedure used to treat narrowed coronary arteries of the heart which can cause heart attacks.
DeKalb Medical began offering PCI diagnostic and treatment services in May 2011 which has lead to vast improvement in patient outcomes. Previous to this, patients coming to DeKalb Medical in emergent or acute distress were evaluated and then sent to another facility if a PCI was deemed necessary.
When a patient comes to DeKalb Medical with signs of a heart attack, he or she is taken to the cardiac catheterization laboratory where a diagnostic test is conducted to determine the presence and severity of blockages. If there are blockages, the cardiologist performing the diagnostic study consults with an intervening cardiologist, such as DeKalb Medical’s Medical Director of Interventional Cardiology Dr. Binu Kunjummen. He makes the determination if a PCI is needed immediately, can be scheduled in the next few days, or if the blockage can be treated medically instead of intervening.
PCI is far less invasive than open heart surgery, greatly reducing recovery time and risk. There is no cutting, and the procedure is done with wires, stents and balloons through catheters placed in the patients’ arteries. Dr. Kunjummen and other interventional cardiologists on staff at DeKalb Medical typically need an hour for the PCI procedure. Afterward, the patient recovers and is usually monitored for 24 to 48 hours before going home.
Dr. Kunjummen recommends all PCI patients participate in DeKalb Medical’s Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehab Program where they will improve exercise ability, reduce cardiac symptoms and gain positive psychosocial well-being through a personalized plan working with trained professionals.
“Not only are we performing PCI, we are performing PCI at a level of quality that competes with the top cardiac hospitals in the country,” Mick White, Program Director for the DeKalb Medical Heart & Vascular Institute, said. “ We are very excited about this achievement. We are extremely proud of the fact that when patients put their trust in us by coming here for cardiac care, we can now deliver that expected care without transferring them to another hospital.”
About DeKalb Medical
Founded in 1961, DeKalb Regional Health System, Inc., known as DeKalb Medical, is comprised of more than 800 doctors skilled in 55 medical specialties across three campuses. The 627-bed system includes DeKalb Medical at North Decatur (451 beds), DeKalb Medical Long Term Acute Care at Downtown Decatur (77 beds), DeKalb Medical at Hillandale (100 beds), and DeKalb Medical Physicians Group and the DeKalb Medical Foundation. The not-for-profit health care system is a HealthGrades® Five-Star Recipient for Treatment of Heart Attack in 2013 and Five-Star Recipient for Peripheral Vascular Bypass in 2012. Our Maternity Center was selected as a participant in the Best Fed Beginnings project as part of UNICEF/WHO’s Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative. Our Cancer Center has been granted three-year approval by The Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons as a community hospital comprehensive oncology program, and our Joint Solutions Center is a metro Atlanta leader in joint replacement. In addition, our LTAC earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® for acquired brain injury, wound care and respiratory failure services. Visit www.dekalbmedical.org.