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Sharp Grossmont Hospital opened its new $6 million cardiac catheterization (cath) lab. Nearly double the size of the hospital’s two existing cath labs, the expanded, modernized cath lab features state-of-the-art technology and equipment upgrades designed to enhance treatment for heart attack patients, increasing the hospital’s capacity to manage patients with life-threatening conditions.
In addition to treating heart attacks, the cardiac cath lab is used for diagnostic procedures that detect heart abnormalities, and is used to administer other cardiac treatments such as angioplasties and stent placement. One of the cath lab’s defining features is a 56-inch, 8-million-pixel, flat-screen monitor that generates and toggles up to 16 high-definition images, allowing clinicians to see, diagnose and treat the smallest of heart structures more easily. An essential design of the room includes integration of equipment and cables from the ceiling, eliminating safety and infection-control risks associated with floor cables.
Construction for the new cath lab began in July 2011 and took six months to complete. The project was supported in part by grants from the Indian Gaming Special Distribution Fund Grant and the Grossmont Healthcare District, secured by the Grossmont Hospital Foundation.
Last year, Sharp Grossmont Hospital treated 2,230 patients who suffered serious heart attacks — the highest volume in California. Severe heart attacks are known as STEMIs (ST segment elevation myocardial infarctions), and Sharp Grossmont provides optimal care for STEMI patients by providing treatment within its cath lab in 90 minutes or less, as required by county guidelines. STEMI patients treated within the hospital’s cath lab undergo treatments that quickly unblock clogged arteries and restore blood flow to the damaged portion of the heart. The hospital meets the required guideline with 100 percent of its STEMI patients, maintaining an average treatment, or “door to balloon” time, of 50 minutes — far less than the county average of 60 minutes.
I treat every patient as if he or she is a member of my own family."
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