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Cardiac Interventions at Monongahela Valley Hospital Help Save Lives

February is American Heart Month.

On Thursday, Feb. 28, from 4 to 8 p.m., Monongahela Valley Hospital is participating in "Go Red Washington County," a new county-wide initiative to increase heart education and awareness among adults. Speakers are KDKA-TV’s Jennifer Antkowiak, who will discuss heart health and conduct Zumba and walking demonstrations, and holistic health counselor and cookbook author Janet McKee, HHC, AADP, who will cook several healthy recipes and share them with the audience. At 6 p.m., an Innovations in Medicine panel discussion will focus on heart health issues with panelists including MVH Cardiologist Simon H. Chough, M.D.; Center for Fitness and Health Director Don Doyle; Cardiac Rehabilitation Supervisor Kenny Furlong, RN; and Senior Staff Physical Therapist and Director of the Dr. Dean Ornish Program for Reversing Heart Disease Randall Komacko, MPT.

Screenings, information tables, raffles and sales of "Go Red Washington County" red gloves and headbands will continue until 8 p.m.

The event and parking at MVH are free, but reservations are requested by calling 724-258-1333.
(February 12, 2013 - Carroll Township, Pa.)

Forty-five years ago when Frances Miller took a heart attack, she was stabilized at the old Homestead Hospital and her family was told that the first 72 hours would be telling. She was in intensive care for 14 days and in a semi-private room for another 10 days before she went home to live a life dependent on "heart" pills. Two weeks ago, her granddaughter, who lives in the Midwest, was dizzy and had upper back pressure. Thinking that she may have pulled a muscle when exercising, the young woman went to her local emergency room only to learn that it was not a back muscle that was in distress - it was her heart muscle - she was having a heart attack. Fortunately the hospital where she sought care had a cardiac catheterization (cath) lab where a medical team was able to restore blood flow to her heart by using a balloon catheter to decrease the blockage in the coronary artery. She was released two days later. She still exercises and leads an active lifestyle and credits the availability of the cardiac cath lab at her hospital with helping to save her life.

Residents of the Monongahela Valley should take comfort in knowing that one of the few cardiac cath labs in the region is located at Monongahela Valley Hospital. The medical team in MVH's cardiac cath lab provides emergency therapeutic interventions such as:

  • Coronary angioplasty - which restores blood flow to the heart using a balloon catheter to decrease the blockage in the coronary artery
  • Coronary artery stenting - which is a procedure by which a small sleeve is inserted into a blocked artery to enable blood to resume flowing to the heart
  • Drug stenting - which is the insertion of stents which release drugs to prevent arteries from closing

"There are two key components that contribute to a successful outcome when someone is experiencing a heart attack," said Simon H. Chough, M.D., a cardiologist at Monongahela Valley Hospital. "We have to provide the right therapy at the right time. There is a window of 90 minutes to provide cardiac intervention. Having the cardiac catheterization lab right here on the campus ensures that patients who present at our Emergency Department with heart attack symptoms can receive the treatment they need without having to leave the Valley."

MVH also provides early detection of cardiac and vascular diseases through the use of noninvasive testing is performed within the Cardiology Department's Peripheral Vascular Lab. A full-range of diagnostic cardiology and vascular testing ranges from electro-cardiograms and echocardiograms to stress tests and Doppler studies
.

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