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Moberly Regional Medical Center is pleased to announce the opening of the new Heart Center. In conjunction with two board certified cardiologists and a team of highly trained cardiovascular professionals having a combined total of 110 years of experience; the Heart Center at Moberly Regional now accommodates patients who require stent placements inside the heart.
Since 2005, Moberly Regional Medical Center’s Cath Lab staff has helped thousands of patients in the area with prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of heart and vascular related issues; including life saving devices such as pacemaker and defibrillator implants. It has only been in the last few weeks that the transition has been made to a full-blown Heart Center; offering cardiac interventions for emergent and non-emergent patients, as well as, now treating venous disorders that cause severe debility and in some cases loss of limbs.
According to Chris Jones, CEO of Moberly Regional, “We are very pleased to open this new Heart Center for patients in the mid-Missouri area. The hospital has invested 3.5 million dollars just in the facility alone, replete with advanced heart imaging and treatment technologies. Additionally, Dr. Khaja, an interventional cardiologist has joined well-known cardiologist Dr. Habib to bring new comprehensive services and technologies to our region.”
Cardiovascular diseases, including heart disease and stroke, account for more than one-third of all deaths in the United States, and disability in nearly 3 million people annually, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In 2006, of the approximately 800,000 Americans who died of cardiovascular diseases, 151,000 were younger than age 65.
A heart attack and a stroke are both results of vascular disease: conditions caused by a disorder or defect in the way blood is carried throughout the body. When either organ is deprived of blood – even temporarily – the lack of oxygen and nutrients causes tissue to begin to die. The primary cause of either a heart attack or a stroke is a blocked blood vessel or artery. This happens when plaque – deposits of fat, cholesterol and other substances – builds up on the walls of arteries, narrowing the passageway for blood. A blood clot happens when plaque breaks off and ruptures the wall of the artery. These clots can block the artery and prevent blood from reaching parts of the heart muscle or brain. The resulting damage depends in part on the area affected and amount of heart or brain tissue deprived of blood and oxygen.
According to Ahmed Habib, MD, Medical Director of Moberly’s new Heart Center and board certified cardiologist, “Our equipment is just in from Germany and is so advanced that many larger hospitals won’t even have the technology that we have here in Moberly. It provides Dr. Khaja and me with spectacular images of the heart so we can see and treat precisely where the blockage is occurring.”
When blood flow to the heart is limited and the heart is starved of oxygen, this condition is called ischemia. Complete interruption of blood flow causes cell death in heart tissue. This condition is known as myocardial infarction, or heart attack. A heart attack can also occur when a coronary artery temporarily contracts or spasms, interrupting the flow of blood to the heart.
Timing is critical: The amount of time that elapses between the onset of a heart attack or stroke, and medical assistance, determines the extent of damage to the heart or brain – and the loss of heart or brain function. If a heart attack or stroke is suspected, don’t wait. Proceed to the nearest ER for help. “Knowing the signs and symptoms of a heart attack and stroke, calling 911 immediately, and getting to a hospital right away greatly increase the chances of surviving and limiting any permanent damage,” states Azam Khaja, MD, board certified interventional cardiologist. “I have seen a lot of heart centers and I can tell you the Heart Center at Moberly Regional is state-of-the-art. It is what attracted me to come to Moberly to set up my medical practice, because here I can perform the latest in artery clearing procedures within the heart, and do it in a timely manner.”
“As an ER doctor, I am excited about the new Heart Center. When you feel the onset of a heart attack medical standards say you have 90 minutes to open arteries and restore blood flow. Previously that meant sending our patients to other cities to save their lives, while time and life were slipping away. Now we can do these procedures right here. Moberly is now a go-to hospital for heart attacks.” states Dennis Smith, DO, Director of MRMC’s Emergency Services.
The best prevention plan to combat heart attack and stroke risk is a healthy lifestyle: avoid smoking, be physically active, maintain a healthy weight, and make nutritious food choices. Preventing and controlling high blood pressure and high blood cholesterol also play a significant role in cardiovascular health.
“Moberly Regional Medical Center is committed to making our heart care program the best it can be – and this means pursuing a path of continual improvement: ongoing evaluation of our clinical practices, and investing in the latest tools, techniques and innovations,” says Chris Jones, CEO of Moberly Regional. “When the people who live and work in Moberly and surrounding counties think about quality heart care, we want them to think of the Heart Center at Moberly Regional.”