CentraState launches emergency angioplasty procedure for heart attack patients

CentraState Medical Center in Freehold recently received approval from the New Jersey Department of Health to perform emergency angioplasty, also known as emergency PCI.

The hospital’s interventional cardiologists already have begun using the life-saving emergency procedure for area heart attack victims.

Jatinchandra Patel, medical director of the Cardiovascular Interventional Laboratory, said the ability already is having impact.

“The ability for us to perform emergency PCI locally in Freehold significantly improves time to treatment allowing patients who show signs of a heart attack to get immediate care in CentraState’s catheterization laboratory, rather than transferring to another hospital,” he said. “Research has proven that patients have the best chance of recovery if their arteries are opened within 90 minutes after a heart attack.”

Emergency angioplasty allows physicians to preserve heart muscle by quickly restoring normal blood flow with a minimally invasive procedure. In this procedure, a thin, flexible catheter is inserted through the wrist or groin and threaded through the arteries of the heart. A balloon is inflated to open the blocked arteries of the heart, and in the majority of cases, stents are inserted. The state-of-the-art, lifesaving treatment is available 24 hours a day.

CentraState, with its team of experienced cardiologists, has been performing cardiac catheterizations since 2005 with excellent outcomes and patient satisfaction. The approval to provide emergency angioplasty builds on the medical center’s accreditation as a Chest Pain Center. Together with the hospital’s emergency department staff, CentraState’s physicians and cardiac catheterization lab team are able to improve heart attack patient’s chances for recovery substantially by performing emergency angioplasty, hospital officials said.

In March 2022, CentraState opened a new state-of-the-art cardiac suite with three catheterization labs in anticipation of this licensure, and quickly ramped up the number of cases required for consideration of this license. Prior to that, CentraState was licensed to perform diagnostic procedures on medically stable patients.

CentraState Healthcare System CEO Tom Scott is thrilled by the development.

“This is a major milestone for CentraState, but, more importantly, a tremendous benefit for the community we serve,” he said. “Our team has been working diligently to achieve this designation so that patients who need this higher level of cardiac care can get it right here, potentially saving lives.”