Feb 25, 2020
NYC Health + Hospitals today announced that the New York State Department of Health has approved requests for upgrades to cardiac catheterization (cath) labs in Brooklyn and the Bronx. Cath labs are examination rooms with imaging equipment used to visualize arteries and chambers of the heart to diagnose heart disease, treat any blockage identified, and prevent heart attacks. NYC Health + Hospitals/Coney Island and NYC Health + Hospitals/Jacobi were previously limited to taking images and diagnosing heart disease and/or blockages. With the state’s approval, both facilities will now be able to perform procedures that help unclog arteries. Previously, patients in South Brooklyn needed to travel approximately 40 minutes to the nearest hospital with cath lab capabilities to help unclog arteries. The cath lab at NYC Health + Hospitals/Jacobi will help to serve the overwhelming number of Bronx patients with heart disease. The two upgraded cath labs are a part of the public health system’s goal of improving cardiac intervention capabilities and overall outcomes for high-risk populations.
“The improvements being made to the cath labs at NYC Health + Hospitals/Coney Island and NYC Health + Hospitals/Jacobi translates to one simple concept: saving New Yorker’s lives,” said Chief Medical Officer for NYC Health + Hospitals Machelle Allen, MD. “As the City’s public health system, we are constantly evaluating our capabilities and patient needs to ensure we’re providing the most comprehensive and state-of-the-art care to all those who come to our hospitals and clinics.”
“These cath lab improvements are critical to our patients because time is of the essence when it comes to heart disease and treating heart attacks,” said Cardiovascular Lead for NYC Health + Hospitals and Chief Cardiologist at NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue Norma Keller, MD. “By increasing the number of full-service cardiac cath labs throughout the City’s public health system, we are expediting how quickly we can unclog arteries and improving overall survival rates.
The cath lab improvements start at NYC Health + Hospitals/Coney Island by May 2020, and July 2020 at NYC Health + Hospitals/Jacobi. The projected combined total expense for five years is $41.2M, which includes new providers and technicians, ongoing training, and equipment costs. More than 2,500 additional patients are expected to be treated by the cath labs in the first five years.
There will be a total of four full-service cardiac cath labs in the City’s public health system once the upgrades are made at NYC Health + Hospitals/Coney Island and NYC Health + Hospitals/Jacobi. The other cath labs with intervention capabilities are NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue and NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst.
“Modern technology is crucial for any hospital to provide its patients with lifesaving care, and it is even more important that our public hospitals are equipped with state of the art labs so that every New Yorker has access to comprehensive and capable care. I applaud NYC Health + Hospitals/Coney Island and Jacobi for raising the bar for care in our hospitals by successfully pursuing these upgrades to their cardiac catheterization labs,” said Councilwoman Carlina Rivera, Chair of the Council’s Committee on Hospitals.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, one person dies every 37 seconds from heart disease each year. At a higher predisposition, nearly 48 percent of African-American women and 44 percent of African-American men have some form of heart disease, according to the Heart Foundation. Several medical conditions and lifestyle choices can also put people at a higher risk for heart disease, including diabetes, obesity, unhealthy diet, and physical inactivity.
As American Heart Month comes to an end, NYC Health + Hospitals encourages all New Yorkers to get screened for heart disease, especially if they live with other chronic diseases that could lead to or speed up the disease.
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