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The HeartCare Center at Blanchard Valley Hospital (BVH), Findlay, performed its 1,000th percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) procedure today (June 12).
PCI is a procedure done to open narrowed or blocked arteries in the heart. The procedure can be performed as an elective procedure to help decrease the risk of a heart attack, or can be done during a heart attack to reestablish blood flow to a blocked area of the heart.
The HeartCare Center performed its first elective patient PCI on Dec. 12, 2005, and began performing the procedure on patients with a heart attack in progress in January 2006.
"I am proud of this program and the outstanding heart care it provides to Findlay and the surrounding counties," said Chris Swanson, vice president of clinical services. "Before Blanchard Valley Hospital established its heart care program in 2005, people traveled 40 minutes or more for heart care. Now, we provide them advanced cardiac care right here at home."
When you're having a heart attack, time matters. Heart muscle is damaged every minute until the blocked artery is cleared. This is why the HeartCare Center has developed a rapid response process for opening coronary vessels.
In fact, Blanchard Valley Hospital is beating the American College of Cardiology (ACC) guideline for the opening of blocked arteries. This guideline, called door to balloon time, records how long it takes for a patient's artery to be opened after arriving in the emergency department. The HeartCare Center recorded an average door to balloon time of 46 minutes in 2009, beating the ACC guideline of 90 minutes.