During the month of February, we traditionally celebrate love and all things related to the heart. The American Heart Association also reminds us that it’s a great time to think about your own heart and what you can do to make it healthier. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States. Every year, one in four deaths are caused by heart disease.
The good news is that heart disease can often be prevented through healthy choices and management of your health conditions. Get regular physical activity, maintain a healthy weight and lower your blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Make wise food choices, use less salt and eat more fish, fruits and vegetables. Tobacco use remains the most preventable cause of disease in Colorado. If you smoke, get the help you need to quit. The Colorado Quit Line at www.coquitline.org is a great place to start.
In the event that you need help with a heart related issue, the cardiology staff at MMH is here and ready to assist. The Heart Catherization Lab opened in 2000 and performed 34 heart caths that year. According to WebMD, a Cardiac catheterization, also called coronary angiogram, is a test to check your heart and coronary arteries. It is used to check blood flow in the coronary arteries, blood flow and blood pressure in the chambers of the heart, find out how well the heart valves work, and check for defects in the way the wall of the heart moves. The purpose of cardiac catheterization is to find out if you have disease in your coronary arteries (atherosclerosis). If you have atherosclerosis, this test can pinpoint the size and location of fat and calcium deposits (plaque) that are narrowing your coronary arteries. Results from cardiac catheterization help determine whether treatment with bypass surgery or percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), such as angioplasty, or medical treatment may be effective. As of January 28 of 2020, the Cath Lab staff have performed 4,963 total heart cath cases and will soon hit 5,000! The lab has grown dramatically and currently average about 31 heart cath cases per month.
The MMH cardiology department is staffed with RNs, cardiovascular technologists and three interventional cardiologists who provide several types of procedures. According to the American Medical Association, interventional cardiology is an area of medicine within the subspecialty of cardiology that uses specialized imaging and other diagnostic techniques to evaluate blood flow and pressure in the coronary arteries and chambers of the heart, as well as technical procedures and medications to treat abnormalities that decrease the function of the cardiovascular system. This team of experts is available 24/7/365 to help with heart attack care.
We encourage you to learn as much as you can about your personal heart health. The MMH annual Health Fair on February 29 is a great place to have inexpensive blood tests performed that give you information about your cholesterol, triglyceride and glucose levels. You can also have your blood pressure checked, talk to a dietitian about ways to improve your eating habits and ask a provider questions about your blood test results. Do what you can to keep yourself healthy and also be assured that the Cardiology Department at MMH is here to help when needed.
Leann Tobin, Chief Marketing Officer, MMH 240-7344