Hunt Regional Medical Center celebrates 200th cath lab procedure


The cardiac services team at Hunt Regional Medical Center recently celebrated its 200th procedure and has treated around 150 patients since the grand re-opening of the hospital’s cardiac catheterization lab in June. In addition to left and right heart caths, the staff reports that stent placements are also among their top three most frequent procedures performed.

During a cardiac emergency, time is muscle and every minute counts. Healthy muscle and optimum heart function can be retained by going to the nearest location. With the expansion of cardiac services, Hunt Regional is now able to provide care that patients previously experiencing a life-threatening heart attack would have had to travel elsewhere to receive.

“We have had several STEMI patients come in through the ER and all of our cases have been better than the national standard for door-to-balloon time,” says outpatient services director, Kelli Jones.

ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction (STEMI) is a very serious type of heart attack during which one of the heart’s major arteries is blocked. STEMI has a substantial risk of death and requires a quick response. The American Heart Association reports a direct relationship between the amount of time a heart artery is blocked and the odds of survival. The “door-to-balloon” clock starts when the patient arrives at the hospital and stops when the balloon is inflated in the cardiac cath lab.

Staffed around-the-clock with experts in heart health, Hunt Regional’s cath lab provides emergency and interventional coverage 24/7, 365 days a year through a partnership with Medical City Dallas. Interventional cardiologists Ahad Hassan, MD, and Roger Belbel, DO, oversee cath lab operations, along with registered nurses and diagnostic imaging technicians.

It is important not to wait for a crisis to seek cardiac care. Heart attack prevention and heart health can be achieved through proper diagnosis and treatment. Hunt Regional’s cardiovascular team provides diagnostic and interventional services including pacemaker placement, pressure management, and endomyocardial biopsy. Diagnostic catheterization may be ordered if a screening examination, such as an electrocardiogram, points to the likelihood of an underlying heart condition that needs further evaluation. A doctor also may order the procedure to evaluate blood flow to the heart when pain occurs after a patient experiences a heart attack or if a patient has recently experienced chest pain, fatigue, dizziness, or shortness of breath.

The cath lab is located on the second floor of HRMC. To learn more, click here.

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