West Bloomfield - Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital is now certified by the State of Michigan to treat heart attack patients experiencing the most serious type of heart attack, referred to as a STEMI, with a cardiac catheterization procedure.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death among adults in the United States. Each year, more than 5 million Americans seek medical attention for chest pain, more than 1.5 million are diagnosed with heart attacks, and nearly 600,000 die of heart disease.
“When the artery to the heart is blocked by a blood clot during a STEMI, the muscle supplied by the artery begins to die,” says Joseph Helak, M.D., service chief for Cardiology at Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital.
For this specific type of heart attack, national guidelines call for patients to undergo cardiac catheterization and balloon angioplasty within 90 minutes of arriving at the hospital. Studies have shown that performing the procedure in that “door-to-balloon” timeframe greatly reduces a patient's risk of dying.
In a balloon angioplasty, cardiologists insert a catheter with a small balloon into an artery in the wrist or leg, and guide it to the blockage. Then the balloon is inflated, pressing the plaque against the artery wall and improving blood flow. If necessary, doctors insert a hollow tube, called a stent, into the artery to hold it open.
“The time to treat the patient and save a life is very short. With this certification, we can now respond on site with this critical procedure, as opposed to transferring the patient, and offer the best care to heart attack patients in the community.”
Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital’s heart attack program is part of the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline. The goal of this national initiative is to save lives by closing the gaps which separate heart attack patients from timely access to appropriate treatments.