In Farmington Hills, cardiac care just got better

Monday, November 28, 2016

Lifesaving care for heart patients is now closer for those living or working in and around Farmington Hills since Beaumont Hospital, Farmington Hills opened its renovated cardiac catheterization lab on Nov. 21.

“With advanced technology and redesigned space in our Cath Lab, our outstanding interventional cardiologists and cardiac care staff stand ready 24/7 to save lives by restoring blood flow in people with heart blockages,” said Connie O’Malley, RN, president, Beaumont, Farmington Hills.

The hospital’s cath lab was taken out of service on Oct. 15 to install an advanced imaging system that significantly reduces radiation exposure and to renovate the space for both function and aesthetics. Regulatory agencies, including the city of Farmington Hills fire marshal and the Oakland County Health Department, have approved the renovated cath lab for safety and effectiveness, allowing the hospital to meet Accreditation for Cardiovascular Excellence guidelines.

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The cath lab team provides emergency percutaneous coronary intervention procedures for those experiencing heart attacks or angioplasty on an elective basis for those with cardiovascular symptoms. Performing these interventions locally eliminates treatment delays and allows patients to be treated closer to home.

“We are very pleased to have recruited Maher Rabah, D.O., a remarkable interventional cardiologist to lead our cath lab as medical director. Dr. Rabah has 29 years of experience with the heart programs at the Beaumont hospitals in Troy and Royal Oak and has an amazing portfolio of clinical results,” said David P. Gowman, D.O., Cardiology chief and director of the Cardiology Fellowship training program at Beaumont, Farmington Hills. “He has performed thousands of angioplasty and stenting procedures. Now, he is performing those same lifesaving procedures here in Farmington Hills.”

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, causing 600,000 deaths annually. PCI is considered one of the most effective, primary treatments for narrowed or blocked heart arteries or heart attacks. Percutaneous means “through the skin.” The procedure is done by inserting a thin flexible tube, or catheter, through the skin in the upper thigh or arm that is threaded through a blood vessel to the affected heart artery. A balloon at the top of the catheter is inflated to open the narrowed artery, restoring blood flow to the heart muscle to help minimize damage to heart function.

According to data from the National Registry of Myocardial Infarction, patients who were transferred to another facility for emergency angioplasty with a door-to-reperfusion time of 2.5 - 3 hours have a 60 percent increase in risk-adjusted mortality, compared with a door-to-reperfusion time of less than 90 minutes. The program at Beaumont, Farmington Hills allows patients who reside locally the chance to be treated within the 90-minute window of opportunity, greatly increasing their chances of survival.

“Time is muscle, and muscle is life,” said Dr. Rabah.

An angioplasty procedure usually takes about 90 minutes to perform. Most patients stay one night in the hospital.

“After angioplasty, we spend a lot of time educating our patients and their families on the importance of leading a heart-healthy lifestyle and helping them achieve their goals,” said Heather Glover, RN, manager, Cardiology Services, Beaumont, Farmington Hills. “Our outpatient cardiac rehabilitation program is top-notch and includes monitored exercise and assistance with lifestyle changes, such as a heart-healthy diet, smoking cessation, weight loss and stress management. Cardiac rehab is essential for people to regain their quality of life.”

Beaumont Health offers elective and emergency PCI at six of its eight hospitals, including Dearborn, Farmington Hills, Royal Oak, Trenton, Troy and Wayne.

In addition to renovating its cardiac cath lab, Beaumont, Farmington Hills is undergoing an enormous transformation at an estimated cost of $160 million. The expansion project represents a significant investment in the 51-year-old hospital, and is Beaumont Health’s largest capital project since forming its new eight-hospital system in 2014. While Beaumont Health is funding $150 million of the project, it is relying on support from the community for the remaining $10 million.