Every year, about 785,000 Americans have a first heart attack, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Saumil Patel, MD, specializes in interventional cardiology and performs procedures at the new cardiac catheterization lab (cath lab) at Bon Secours DePaul. Dr. Patel explains what’s important for patients to know if they experience chest discomfort and a heart-related emergency.
What is interventional cardiology?
Interventional cardiology treats patients with blocked heart arteries or heart or vascular disease. It involves catheter-based approaches that provide minimally invasive treatments. With these techniques, patients can avoid need for open heart surgery and they benefit from shorter recovery times, less pain and less risk of infection.
Why does speed matter?
It is important to remember that “time is muscle.” When a patient is suffering from a heart attack, the longer the heart muscle goes without oxygen, the more damage the heart muscle can suffer. When we see a patient in the emergency department who is experiencing symptoms of a heart attack, they are fast-tracked and taken to the cath lab as quickly as possible to open the blocked heart artery.