Heart team focuses on comprehensive care

When a heart issue arises, every minute — and mile — counts. Fortunately, local residents don’t have to travel far to get expert cardiac care. Columbus Regional Hospital is the only hospital in southeastern Indiana that offers comprehensive heart care 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

In addition, CRH’s door-to-balloon time is 53 minutes. This is the length of time that passes starting when heart attack patients arrive at the hospital until they undergo balloon procedures in a cardiac catheterization laboratory to restore blood flow to the heart. That’s well below guidelines from the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association that recommend hospitals achieve a door-to-balloon time of 90 minutes or less.

“We work closely with emergency medical service personnel in the field and staff in the CRH emergency room and cardiac cath lab to improve all of the processes involved in caring for patients who suffer a heart attack because prompt care is vital,” says Jo Anne Castor, RN, manager of the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory at Columbus Regional Health.

Exceptional Care

Columbus Regional Health began offering open heart surgery 15 years ago. Today, the hospital offers a full range of cardiac services, including: heart surgery, cardiac intensive care, cardiac catheterization, electrophysiology studies, vascular disease services and comprehensive cardiac rehabilitation. 

That means patients who need cardiac procedures, such as bypass surgery, angioplasty and stenting, defibrillators or pacemakers, can get that care right here in the community.

The hospital is a recognized as a leader in cardiac care because of the level of care it provides. Columbus Regional Health was the first hospital in the state to have an all-digital cardiac catheterization laboratory. The hospital also has earned accreditation as a Chest Pain Center with Primary PCI and Resuscitation and a Heart Failure Center.

Key Partnerships

Columbus Regional Health is affiliated with Indiana University Health Cardiovascular and has a partnership with Southern Indiana Surgery, giving our patients access to top heart and vascular specialists in the state.

The health system also partners with hospitals in the area that don’t offer advanced cardiac services to streamline the transport of patients to Columbus Regional where they can get the life-saving services they need as quickly as possible.

“Heart disease is the leading killer of men and women in the United States,” Castor says. “Our staff is dedicated to providing care as quickly as possible because we know that we can save lives.”

Thanks, in part, to the hospital’s door-to-balloon time, Columbus Regional Health saved the lives of 163 heart attack patients in 2016. Learn more about our heart services at the Heart and Vascular Center web page.

Heart Healthy Habits

From the American Heart Association
No matter what your age, everyone can benefit from a healthy diet and adequate physical activity.

Choose a healthy eating plan.  The food you eat can decrease your risk of heart disease and stroke.

Choose foods low in saturated fat, trans fat, and sodium.  As part of a healthy diet, eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, fiber-rich whole grains, fish (preferably oily fish-at least twice per week), nuts, legumes and seeds and try eating some meals without meat.  Select lower fat dairy products and poultry (skinless).  Limit sugar-sweetened beverages and red meat. If you choose to eat meat, select the leanest cuts available.

Be physically active.  You can slowly work up to at least 2½ hours (150 minutes) of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity (e.g., brisk walking) every week or 1 hour and 15 minutes (75 minutes) of vigorous intensity aerobic physical activity (e.g., jogging, running) or a combination of both every week. Learn the American Heart Association's Guidelines for Physical Activity in Adults and in Kids.

Additionally, on two or more days a week you need muscle-strengthening activities that work all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest shoulders, and arms). Children should get at least 60 minutes of activity every day.

It's never too early or too late to learn the warning signs of a heart attack and stroke. Not everyone experiences sudden numbness with a stroke or severe chest pain with a heart attack. And heart attack symptoms in women can be different than men.

Screenings Save Lives

You are your best advocate for care and when healthy habits may not be enough, the more proactive you are, the better chance at a favorable outcome. That's where screenings come in. The thought of a screening procedure may seem daunting or scary to some, but a simple, non-invasive procedure, like at CT scan could be the first step in preventing an emergency and saving a life. Learn more about our low-cost heart scan program.


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