Minutes Matter When it Comes to Specialized Cardiac Care

February 13, 2019
Health News winter 2019 - minutes matter when it comes to specialized cardiac care

Corona Regional is now a licensed percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) facility

The American Heart Association states that cardiovascular disease was the underlying cause of death in more than 835,000 people in 2018, and that 2,300 Americans die of cardiovascular disease each day. When minutes matter, interventional cardiologists at Corona Regional are using a special, nonsurgical procedure known as percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). With minimally invasive PCI, doctors can quickly open blood vessels to restore blood flow in the case of plaque buildup or a clot by performing balloon angioplasty and placing a stent.

Saving Lives

Sumit Khandhar, DO, Interventional Cardiologist and Medical Director of the PCI Program, says the procedure saves lives and is done either electively or in an emergency situation. “Sometimes patients are referred for a diagnostic angiogram by their cardiologist due to symptoms or a positive stress test. Other times, patients come to the hospital experiencing a heart attack. In both cases, we perform an angiogram and get to the heart arteries either from the wrist or the groin. We then inject dye so we can see the arteries feeding the heart,” says Dr. Khandhar. “If we find a narrowing or blockage, we can address it right then with angioplasty and stenting.”

An angioplasty involves inflating a tiny balloon at the site of the narrowed artery and pushing aside the plaque. A stent is then placed to help keep the artery open. If a clot is found, it can be suctioned, followed by use of the balloon and stent. The same procedures are done whether a patient comes in through the emergency room or as an outpatient.

Dr. Khandhar says that with the recent PCI facility licensure from the California Department of Public Health, patients no longer need to travel out of the area or be transferred to another hospital to receive this specialized care. “Everything they need can be done right here right away, and we can help more people in our community.”

Possible heart attack symptoms vary between men and women*

Common heart attack symptoms in men:

  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach
  • Shortness of breath
  • Cold sweat, nausea or light-headedness

Common heart attack symptoms in women:

  • Unusually heavy pressure in the chest
  • Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach
  • Severe shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort
  • Unusual or unexplained fatigue
  • Unfamiliar dizziness or light-headedness
  • Unexplained nausea or vomiting

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, call 9-1-1 immediately.

*American Heart Association