Morristown Medical Center opens radial lounge in effort to enhance post-procedure experience for heart patients

Morristown Medical Center has opened one of the region’s first radial lounges in its Gagnon Cardiovascular Institute — a value-add for its nationally ranked cardiology and cardiac surgery program.

Dr. Jordan Safirstein, director of transradial catheterization for Atlantic Health System, said radial lounges are specifically designed to meet the needs of cardiac catheterization patients who have had their procedure performed through a catheter inserted into their radial (wrist) artery, also known as transradial catheterization.

This procedure, which has a shorter recovery period and less bleeding risk than traditional cardiac catheterizations done through the femoral (groin) artery, is now an option for many patients who are catheterized in order to conduct a diagnostic angiogram or have an angioplasty or stent procedure, Safirstein said.

“Nearly half of all cardiac catheterizations are now done transradially and there is plenty of data to show it is very safe and can be done as an outpatient procedure,” he said.

Safirstein said the lounge will change the recovery room experience.

“We saw the need for a recovery area for these patients that was more comfortable,” he said. “These patients don’t need a traditional recovery room. Our goal is to safely send patients home on the same day of their procedure, but while they spend time with us, it should be time spent relaxing, reading, receiving education about their procedure and prevention of future events. If they need new medications, we can provide that to them before they leave.”

The radial lounge has six bays that will be more comfortable for patients and family members. In a traditional recovery room, transradial catheterization patients are confined to a stretcher and wall monitors. The radial lounge is a modernized recovery area, where the recovering patient can walk around while being monitored via wireless telemetry.

“Patients can help themselves to food and beverages, sit in a comfortable lounge chair and even use the restroom independently,” Safirstein said. “This all leads to a more comfortable and humane recovery period for transradial cardiac catheterization patients.”

Morristown Medical Center was recently named the top hospital in the state by the prestigious U.S. News & World Report rankings. More specifically, it was ranked No. 38 in the county for cardiology and cardiac Surgery by U.S. News and as one of America’s 100 Best Hospitals for Cardiac Care by Healthgrades.