HealthAlliance in Kingston offers new heart care services

Pictured in the HealthAlliance Hospital cardiac catheterization laboratory are (L-R) Karen Hopkins, hemodynamic technician; Leroy Price, RN, Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory; Sei Iwai, MD, director, Cardiac Electrophysiology; Falak Shah, MD, director, Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory; Erik Grazier, RN, Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory. (Photo by Lauren Asselmeyer)

WMCHealth has announced the opening of a new cardiac catheterization laboratory at HealthAlliance Hospital on Broadway in Kingston. The new laboratory offers treatments for blocked arteries, irregular heartbeats and coronary heart disease: services previously unavailable in Ulster County. The service operates under the direction of WMCHealth’s Heart and Vascular Institute.

The new HealthAlliance Hospital cardiac catheterization laboratory offers percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) and electrophysiology programs. PCI (angioplasty) is used to open blocked or narrowed coronary arteries using a tiny balloon that is inserted in a blocked blood vessel to help widen it and improve blood flow to the heart. Cardiologists use PCI to relieve symptoms of coronary heart disease and reduce damage to the heart during or after a heart attack.

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Electrophysiology uses a catheter inserted into blood vessels leading to the heart to test for irregular heartbeats caused by abnormalities in the heart’s electrical system. The results can help determine the best course of treatment, including medication, pacemaker, implantable cardioverter defibrillator, cardiac ablation or surgery.

“Our new cardiac catheterization laboratory enables us to provide an essential cardiac service to people suffering from a heart attack or blocked arteries right here in Kingston,” said HealthAlliance Hospital Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory director Falak Shah, MD, who joined HealthAlliance Hospital to provide care and guide the program. “Likewise, those with heart arrhythmias may not have to leave the community for treatment.”

WMCHealth physicians have already performed several successful procedures in the HealthAlliance Hospital cardiac catheterization laboratory, including an intervention that aided Kingston’s April Simpson, 49. Simpson checked in to the HealthAlliance Hospital Emergency Department with chest pains after a pick-up baseball game, and was diagnosed with reduced blood flow to her heart due to coronary artery disease. HealthAlliance cardiologists increased Simpson’s blood flow via a cardiac catheterization procedure, and she is now home, feeling better and eager to play baseball again, according to WMCHealth.

Those experiencing signs of cardiac distress should call 911 or visit their nearest Emergency Department immediately.

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