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Cardiac cath lab team performs 400 procedures, saves 29 lives in first six months of operation


Fri, Nov 17th 2017 07:20 pm
The clinical team at the new cardiac catheterization laboratory at Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center performed 400 procedures - including emergent procedures that saved 29 patients' lives - during its first six months of operation.
Most of those treated were Niagara County residents, said Melissa Rackmil, R.N., Memorial's director of cardiovascular services. Nearly all of the procedures performed at the facility to date have been by interventional cardiologists Dr. Neil Dashkoff and Dr. James Conley.
"The majority of the patients whose lives were saved were having heart attacks and wouldn't have survived a trip to a Buffalo hospital for an interventional cardiac procedure," Rackmil said. "The numbers support our long-held belief that there was a need for convenient and accessible diagnostic and interventional cardiac services in Niagara County for Niagara County residents."
Memorial President and CEO Joseph A. Ruffolo noted patient data for the quarter ending Sept. 30 also pointed out some interesting trends regarding Niagara Falls cath lab patients.
"Overall, the percentage of patients under age 65 was much higher than the state average for patients receiving those services, while the percentage of patients presenting with heart attacks was double the state average," Ruffolo said. "Those numbers confirm just how prevalent cardiac disease is in Niagara."
In addition, the percentage of Medicaid managed care patients served was 85 percent higher than the state average, an indicator the facility is addressing previously identified local disparities in the heart care available to residents of low-income households, people challenged by mental health issues and those who are developmentally or intellectually disabled.
The $2.2 million facility, located in The Heart Center of Niagara, is a unique collaboration between Catholic Health, Kaleida Health, Erie County Medical Center Corp. and Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center.

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