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Cardiovascular

St. Vincent Charity Medical Center holds a rich history of cardiac care beginning in 1950 when Dr. Henry A. Zimmerman, MD, launched the hospital’s division of cardiology. Under Dr. Zimmerman's direction, St. Vincent Charity was placed at the forefront of innovations in cardiac care. In 1956, Earl B. Kaye, performed the first open-heart surgery in the Midwest, the third in the country, at St. Vincent Charity. A short time later, the hospital opened one of the first diagnostic and evaluation labor

Cath Lab

Comprehensive medical and surgical services for the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of heart and vascular diseases and conditions, including diagnostic testing, cardiac catheterization, open-heart surgery, vascular medicine and surgery, peripheral procedures and cardiac rehabilitation are available in our state-of-the-art cath lab.

Using Phillips 3-D technology, our team is better able to diagnose and treat patients quickly and effectively. Currently, we have the capability of performing the following procedures:

  • Cardiac Catheterization
  • Percutaneous Coronary Interventions
  • Peripheral Angiograms
  • Peripheral Interventions
  • Rotational Atherectomy
  • Intravascular Ultrasound (IVUS)
  • Angiojet

  • Intra-aortic Balloon Pump insertion (IABP)
  • Permanent Pacemaker implant (PPM)
  • Automated Implantable Cardiac Defibrillators (AICD)
  • Electrophysiology studies (EPS)
  • Temporary pacemaker insertions (TPM)
  • Cardioversion
  • Pericardiocentesis

The staff is made up of a combined group of Registered Nurses (RNs), a Radiologic Technician (RT), a cardiac technician, a department secretary, and a manager. The cath lab staff is on-call 24/7 and works in collaboration with the cardiologists and the Emergency Department to expedite emergency procedures to strive for optimal outcomes for patients requiring emergent services.

Rehabilitation

The Cardiac Rehabilitation program at St. Vincent Charity Medical Center is designed to help people with cardiac conditions, coronary artery disease or recent heart attacks recover quickly and achieve optimal levels of physical, mental and social functioning.

Structured exercise programs are customized to meet each person's needs and exercise goals. A comprehensive education component covers all the risk factors for heart disease and aspects of disease management. A doctor's prescription is required for cardiac rehabilitation. Our staff will work with you and your doctor to determine a program for your needs.


Cardiac rehabilitation is recommended if your medical history includes:

  • Heart attack
  • Angioplasty or stent procedure
  • Coronary artery bypass surgery
  • Heart valve surgery
  • Heart transplant surgery
  • Chronic chest pain (angina)
  • Peripheral arterial disease
  • Risk factors for coronary artery disease

Our experienced and professional staff offers medically supervised exercise and educational sessions.

Phase I
occurs during inpatient post cardiac event
Phase II
supervised and cardiac-monitored exercise after discharge from Phase I
Phase III
independent maintenance phase toward continuous lifestyle change; after completion of Phase II (not covered by insurance)

A doctor's prescription is required for participation in cardiac rehabilitation. Our dedicated staff will work with you and your doctor to determine a program that best fits your needs.

Joining our cardiac rehab program will help gain many benefits.

  • Reduce the incidence of another cardiac event
  • Reduce cardiovascular symptoms
  • Improve cardiovascular risk factors (blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterol)
  • Improve health-related quality of life
  • Reduce hospitalizations and medical costs

For more information, please contact the cardiac rehab staff at (216) 363-2693.

Electrocardiography

The Electrocardiography (EKG) department provides EKG services for inpatients and outpatients; working in collaboration with the department of nursing to provide 24 hour inpatient coverage.

In addition, our technician also performs electroencephalogram (EEG) procedures as well.


The department is currently in the process of converting all EKG's into a MUSE storage repository, allowing immediate electronic access through a portal to view the EKG.

Expansion to a web-based solution will allow view ability of all EKG's through any PC access.

Electrocardiography (EKG) measures the heart's electrical activity to help evaluate its function and identify any problems that might exist. The EKG can help determine the rate and regularity of heartbeats, the size and position of the heart's chambers, and whether there is any damage present.

An electroencephalogram (EEG) is a test used to detect abnormalities related to electrical activity of the brain. This procedure tracks and records brain wave patterns. Small metal discs with thin wires (electrodes) are placed on the scalp, and then send signals to a computer to record the results. Normal electrical activity in the brain makes a recognizable pattern. Through an EEG, doctors can look for abnormal patterns that indicate seizures and other problems.

Echocardiography

The Echocardiology department provides echocardiogram and Holter monitor services.

An echocardiogram is a test in which ultrasound is used to examine the heart. The equipment is far superior to that used by fishermen. In addition to providing single-dimension images, known as M-mode echo that allows accurate measurement of the heart chambers, the echocardiogram also offers far more sophisticated and advanced imaging. This is known as two- dimensional (2-D) Echo and is capable of displaying a cross-sectional “slice” of the beating heart, including the chambers, valves and the major blood vessels that exit from the left and right ventricle.

An echocardiogram is a non-invasive heart function procedure which assists physicians in identifying several factors surrounding the heart, including; chamber size, valve function, structural abnormalities, the presence of clot formation in the chambers of the heart, pumping function of the heart, as well as other pieces of information which can aid in the plan of care. The department is currently pursuing ICAEL accreditation, which is a means by which echocardiography laboratories can evaluate and demonstrate the level of patient care they provide.

Holter monitor is a continuous tape recording of a patient's EKG for 24 hours. Since it can be worn during the patient's regular daily activities, it helps the physician correlate symptoms of dizziness, palpitations (a sensation of fast or irregular heart rhythm) or black outs. Since the recording covers 24 hours, on a continuous basis, Holter monitoring is much more likely to detect an abnormal heart rhythm when compared to the EKG which lasts less than a minute. It can also help evaluate the patient's EKG during episodes of chest pain, during which time there may be telltale changes to suggest ischemia (pronounced is-keem-ya) or reduced blood supply to the muscle of the left ventricle.

Vascular Lab

Cardiovascular services also include the diagnosis, treatment and management of carotid artery disease, aortic aneurysms, and poor circulation to the legs and the abdominal organs. Our Vascular lab conducts a variety of examinations to help in the diagnosis and treatment of vascular disease.

Find a Vascular Surgeon

Cerebrovascular Examination

This is an examination utilized to determine the carotid and vertebral arterial flow (main blood flow to the brain). It may be performed to determine the presence or absence of stenosis, ulcerative plaque, or aneurysmal dilatation in patients with carotid bruits, possible TIA's or CVA (stroke). Doppler, spectral analysis, and imaging are utilized for this examination.

Venous Evaluation

This is an examination utilized to evaluate venous blood flow in the extremities. It may be performed to determine the presence of absence of a deep vein thrombosis (blood clot), or to determine the competency of the venous valves in the deep or superficial venous systems. Imaging and Doppler may be utilized for this examination.

Peripheral Arterial Evaluation

This is an examination utilized to determine the arterial blood flow in the extremities. It may be performed to determine the presence or absence of arterial obstruction as a cause for claudication pain (pain with exercise), ischemic changes, not ably decreased peripheral pulses or changes due to Diabetes. This examination is also utilized to follow patient's post operatively. Doppler arterial waveforms and segmental pressures are taken bilaterally and imaging may be utilized to determine graft patency.

Studies performed in the non-invasive vascular laboratory include:

  • Carotid artery ultrasound
  • Renal artery ultrasound
  • Aorta and peripheral artery ultrasound
  • Pulse volume recordings of the upper and lower extremities
  • Exercise and treadmill testing of both upper and lower extremities (respectively)
  • Venous ultrasound of both the upper and lower extremities
  • Venous reflux testing
  • Vein mapping
  • Arterial mapping studies
  • Intra-operative duplex ultrasonography
  • Lower extremity graft surveillance

Cardiac Interventional Unit

The Cardiac Interventional Unit (CIU) provides pre-operative and post-operative care to cardiac cath lab patients. The unit was developed to provide continuity of care for the patients undergoing procedures. The staff also recovers interventional radiology patients.

The staff works in concert with the Cardiac Medical Unit (CMU) in placing patients requiring overnight observation and care. In addition, the staff serves as a resource for sheath pull competency for house staff.

Education provided to patients includes:

  • Pre-procedure phone calls
  • Pre-procedure education
  • Post Procedure education and site care
  • Diabetes education
  • Hypertension
  • Cardiac Risk factors
  • Smoking cessation

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