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Better Breathing Events at MVH Connected to National Heart Month

Cardiac Catheterization Lab photo

Cardiac Catheterization Lab.
(January 23, 2015 - Carroll Township, Pa.)

Two events related to the heart and breathing - the Better Breathers Club and smoking cessation classes - will take place during National Heart Month at Monongahela Valley Hospital in February.

At the Better Breathers Club meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 10, at 2 p.m., MVH Cardiac Catheterization Lab nurse Ryan Wilson will discuss, "I have breathing problems - why is my doctor testing my heart?"

Mr. Wilson will explain the common cardiac testing done in MVH's Cardiac Catheterization Lab and will share pictures taken during the various tests.

"Some patients' breathing issues stem from primary heart issues - the function of the lungs affects the heart and cardiac system and vice versa," said Primary Care Resource Center (PCRC) Lead Care Manager Susan Campus, who coordinates the Better Breathers Club and the smoking cessation classes. "It's common for patients with one or more of these problems to undergo cardiac testing to determine their baseline heart function and to determine if their breathing issues have affected their heart."

Mr. Wilson has been a nurse at MVH for a number of years, working in critical care and then in the Cardiac Catheterization Lab, which was recently enhanced with the latest angiography equipment (see photo).

This angiography machine uses very low doses of radiation to help physicians visualize blood vessels in various parts of the body, including the heart, brain, and kidneys.

Angiography is often used to determine whether blood vessels are narrowed or blocked. It also makes it possible to combine diagnosis and treatment in a single procedure, as in patients who undergo surgery, angioplasty, or stent placement.

"I would like to help people understand what each of the three most common tests - echocardiograms, stress tests and cardiac caths - can show as well as what to expect with each of these tests," Ms. Campus added. "These tests can all be done here at MVH with a high degree of confidence due to our state-of-the-art facilities and expert staff."

The Better Breathers Club is a free support group and gives people with breathing issues a chance to learn from each other and from health care experts.

Because smoking also can affect the heart, the PCRC will host four series of smoking cessation classes during the year.

The first session of classes will be held Tuesday, Feb. 3, 10, 17 and 24, from 6 - 8 p.m., at the hospital. Classes are offered at no charge to Primary Care Resource Center (PCRC) patients, MVH employees and anyone with a referral from an MVH-affiliated primary care physician.

For all others, the cost for the complete program of four classes is $20. Space is limited and registration is required by calling 724-258-1932.

The mission of MVH's Primary Care Resource Center (PCRC) is to increase quality of life for patients with chronic diseases, to assist in the transition of care from hospital to home and to help patients to reduce readmissions of chronic diseases like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and congestive heart failure (CHF).

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