MelroseWakefield Hospital has a long history of providing life-saving cardiac care to the community.
The only community hospital in the area that offers emergency cardiac cath lab procedures and clinical expertise, MelroseWakefield Hosital’s cardiovascular center examines how the heart is working, identifies any problems and performs procedures to open blocked arteries.
“Having access to advanced cardiac care in the community is critical to saving lives,” says Laurence Conway, M.D., director of the cardiovascular center. “The saying is minutes are muscle in cardiac arrest and the sooner you can get those blocked arteries open and blood reflowing the better the chance of restoring full heart muscle function. That is why we developed this advanced cardiology center and are delivering life-saving care right here in the community.”
Two recent advances in cardiac care device technology have enhanced the level of care at MelroseWakefield Hospital.
Impella is an advancement in cardiac care that is proven to be effective for treating high-risk heart failure. The Impella, is a tiny, temporary implantable heart pump inserted minimally-invasively into the chest with a catheter, through the femoral artery of the groin and into the heart’s pumping chamber. “The Impella takes over the pumping for the heart, giving the heart some time to rest and recover from the trauma it just experienced,” said Dr. Conway. “Essentially, it takes the heart offline so it can rest.”
Impella helps move blood from the heart to organs in the body, allowing blood flow to continue and the heart muscle to recover. Studies show that using Impella with cardiogenic shock patients dramatically saves lives compared to usual therapy.
“This takes us to the next level of cardiac care and is part of our commitment to bringing newer and better technology closer to home,” said Dr. Conway.
MelroseWakefield Hospital is also using the latest in coronary artery imaging technology in its cardiac catheterization lab. Intravascular ultrasound, known as IVUS, is a catheter-based diagnostic procedure used to view the inside of a coronary artery.
A combination of echocardiography and cardiac catheterization, IVUS provides a moving picture of your heart from inside the heart rather than through the chest wall.
“IVUS brings us views inside the coronary arteries like we’ve never seen before,” said Dr. Conway. “By inserting the IVUS device into the artery, we have a clear, real-time view that shows us the degree of narrowing or thickening of the artery, and can quantify the percentage of narrowing and the nature of the plaque on the artery walls. IVUS technology provides the most state-of-the-art cardiac imaging and data to our toolkit.”
The precise imagery now available with IVUS can mean an immediate, more accurate evaluation of the size and nature of a plaque blockage in an artery, saving precious time to a patient in heart failure or heart attack.
Working collaboratively with Tufts Medical Center, the cardiovascular center brings more expert services to the community, serving as a teaching program for Tufts Medical Center fellowship students. Many of our providers also hold teaching appointments at Tufts University School of Medicine. One of the first community hospitals in the region to establish in-house cardiac catheterization, cardiology, arrhythmia and interventional radiology programs.
To learn more about the MelroseWakefield Hospital cardiovascular center or to find a cardiologist, visit www.melrosewakefield.org/heart.
Tufts Medicine Formerly Wellforce