What is Interventional Cardiology? Interventional Cardiology is an area of medicine within the subspecialty of cardiology, which uses sophisticated imaging techniques to evaluate blood flow and pressure in the coronary arteries and chambers of the heart and to correct abnormalities that impair the normal functioning. This is used when someone is having a heart attack or chest pain. Examples include cardiac catheterization and percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). BMC Interventionalists also have expertise in peripheral intervention and repair of congenital heart defects and in the near future, repair of heart valve abnormalities.
Baystate Medical Center is the regional tertiary care facility for interventional cardiology in western Massachusetts and has the second busiest Interventional Cardiology (IC) lab in the state. Approximately 1,300 coronary interventions are performed here annually, and we treat more patients with ST-elevation MIs (STEMI) than any other institution in Massachusetts. A STEMI is a severe type of heart attack with extensive heart muscle damage that requires immediate intervention. Seventy percent of our interventional procedures are urgent or emergent, which is much higher than the national average.
Critical to our program’s success is rapid assessment and access to primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). BMC’s Primary PCI Program is available 24 hours a day / 7 days a week for patients. This model of rapid access to care allows us to provide the best care possible to our patients. Our regional program serves patients from the Connecticut border to Worcester, west to the New York border and north to Vermont border.
We have 11 interventional cardiologists on staff who work collaboratively within the Heart and Vascular program. The program has been successfully training interventional cardiac fellows for the past 26 years. Many who come to Baystate for fellowship training choose to remain in the area after graduation.
BMC participates in several comparative databases (Hospital Quality Alliance and American College of Cardiology’s National Cardiology Data Registry), allowing BMC to compare process and outcome performance regionally and nationally. Physician caseload, procedure types, success rates, mortality, and complications are routinely tracked in the databases to identify areas for performance improvement.
BMC has an active research program that has allowed us to be on the cutting edge of research with Interventional Cardiology, evaluating new drugs and new stents, and participating in stem cell research. More than 100 Interventional Cardiology clinical trials have led to better patient care and better outcomes.
Baystate Health Ambulance
From a very high success rate in recognizing ST Elevation MIs (STEMI) using a 12-lead ECG, to a quick assessment-to-treatment time for acute coronary syndrome, which includes applying oxygen, getting a 12-lead ECG, putting in an IV, giving aspirin and nitroglycerin, BHA paramedics continue to provide excellent care to our patients.
Several pre-hospital interventions include:
- completing a thrombolytic screen
- BHA-developed an early recognition and hospital notification system to assist in decreasing the door-to-reperfusion times for patients having a possible STEMI. When a possible STEMI is identified, the receiving emergency department is contacted. The system has helped decrease time-to-treatment by having the appropriate personnel available on arrival at the hospital.
Baystate Medical Center
Baystate Medical Center continues to provide outstanding care to patients undergoing interventional cardiology procedures.
- Our mortality rates consistently remain lower than expected and lower than the national average.
- We continue to work on treating our interventional cardiology patients within 90 minutes of arrival.
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For more information on Baystate Hospitals HQA rates and death rates