The Spartanburg Regional Heart Center is equipped to perform most any cardiac procedure. Our highly trained team of physicians, nurses and other professionals performs hundreds of open-heart surgeries, heart catheterizations and pacemaker implantations each year. Using the latest in technology and techniques, we are committed to keeping our community's hearts beating strong.
Many heart disease patients, especially people with heart failure, hold excess water throughout their body. This attributes to weight gain which can put stress on the heart. When a salt restrictive diet, fluid restriction and other treatments don’t work, aquapheresis is an option.
With Aquapheresis, a catheter is placed in a vein and the patient’s blood is circulated through a filtration process to remove the excess salt and water. An average treatment session is 24-48 hours. Many patients comment that they feel better sometimes hours after treatment is initiated.
Up to 500 ml or 1.1 lb of fluid can be safely removed per hour. The average removal rate is 250 ml or ½ lb an hour. Patients stay in the hospital for about three days.
Cooling therapy can reduce the risk of brain damage and increase the chance of survival for patients who have suffered from a cardiac arrest. Knowing this, Spartanburg Regional is leading the way by being the first hospital in South Carolina to use this therapy.
When cardiac arrest patients are brought to Spartanburg Regional, they are assessed for Code Freeze. They have to meet certain guidelines: have to be in a coma after their episode, arrest cannot be from a traumatic episode, have a core temperature greater than 34 degrees Celsius and score less than an eight on the Glascow Coma Scale (GCS).
When a patient meets the criteria, a catheter with several balloons is inserted into the femoral artery through the groin. The balloons are then filled with cold saline. When blood runs over the saline to and from the heart, it circulates cold blood throughout the body until the patient reaches 32 degrees Celsius causing induced hypothermia. After approximately 24 hours, the patient is slowly brought back to normal temperature at a rate of a half degree per hour.
The biggest benefit to Code Freeze is the preservation of the brain after an episode. Hypothermia decreases the metabolic rate by 6 to 7 percent for every decrease of 1 degree Celsius in temperature. Because the cerebral metabolic rate for oxygen is the main determinant of cerebral blood flow, inducing hypothermia may improve oxygen supply and reduce oxygen consumption in the ischemic brain.
STEMI is an acronym for ST (EKG waves) elevated myocardial infarction (MI or heart attack in progress). This process is a way to ensure that the blocked artery is opened within 70 minutes of the time a patient enters the Emergency Center.
A call to 911 to complain of chest pain will immediately dispatch EMS. Once EMS arrives on the scene, paramedics attach a 12-lead EKG to the patient. Diagnosis of ST elevation is transmitted to the Emergency Center communications room. The RN in the Chest Pain Center activates a Code STEMI. Once a Code STEMI has been called, the Emergency Center staff goes into action. EMS brings the patient directly to the Cath Lab, where the blockage is identified and opened up by an Interventional Cardiologist. The Chest Pain Center Coordinator collects data on the door to balloon (treatment) time which are then conveyed at a group meeting
Because heart attacks have a tendency to happen in the early hours of the morning, Code STEMI is designed to be effective around the clock.