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Advancements and Advantages

Advantages for patients at the Mat Gaberty Heart Center include:

  • Rapid and expert care when someone is having chest pain or a suspected heart attack. The Mat Gaberty Heart Center has consistently exceeded national standards for "door-to-balloon time." This measures the time it takes after a patient enters the hospital (usually through the Emergency Room) until he or she receives treatment (typically balloon angioplasty) to open up a blocked artery and stop the heart attack symptoms.
    • Studies show that reopening clogged arteries by inflating a tiny balloon at the site of the blockage is an effective way to treat a severe heart attack. The procedure, called balloon angioplasty, can cut a patient's risk of dying by 40 percent, especially if it is done within 90 minutes of the patient's arrival at the hospital.
    • The cardiac team at the Mat Gaberty Heart Center has consistently achieved door-to-balloon times of under 60 minutes for these at-risk patients, well under the national standard of 90 minutes.
    • One of the reasons for this achievement is the collaboration between the hospital's staff and emergency medical providers. The Gaberty team has developed a response plan that allows emergency personnel to begin transmitting data from EKG tests directly from the ambulance to the hospital's catheterization lab. Then the patient is able to go directly to the cath lab upon arrival, rather than first going through the Emergency Department. 
  • Interventional cardiologists are trained in transradial angioplasty, one of the most advanced treatment options to open blocked arteries (See Tests and Procedures link). With this procedure, the cardiologist uses the radial artery in the wrist (rather than going through the groin) as the entry point for the catheter to perform the angioplasty. The transradial approach has a lower risk of bleeding at the access site and allows the patient to gain mobility faster.
  • The Center is the only facility in Michigan which offers same-day discharge from the cardiac catheterization lab in combination with a follow-up visit from a registered nurse, arranged in collaboration with McLaren Home Care services. Some interventional procedures (including the transradial procedure described above) may not require admission to the hospital, so the patient is discharged from the cath lab and sent home by the staff members who have been with the patient from the start. Before leaving the hospital, patients receive their medications, which are delivered at their bedside. Finally, after these patients are discharged, they receive additional follow-up care at home for the best recovery outcomes.
  • McLaren Macomb is the only hospital in Macomb County to offer myocardial viability testing, a state-of-the-art test that determines heart muscle health (See Tests and Procedures link). The test utilizes a cardiac PET/CT scan (done by the radiology and nuclear medicine department) to look for damaged heart muscle. For patients with chronic heart disease and severe heart failure, it can help determine the likelihood of success for procedures that are designed to improve blood flow to the heart. Doctors can receive tests results within 72 hours to help them decide whether high-risk patients will benefit from certain kinds of cardiac procedures.
  • Stress tests are offered seven days a week, for greater patient convenience and faster diagnosis of potential heart problems.
  • The Center offers a specialized Vascular Institute that offers free screening to area residents for PVD, Peripheral Vascular Disease.