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Growth Continues For Ohio State's Heart Program

COLUMBUS, Ohio –The Ohio State University Medical Center’s Richard M. Ross Heart Hospital continued its upward growth trend into 2009 with increases in patient admissions, outpatient visits and surgical procedures.

In particular, significant growth continues to occur in the electrophysiology program where the number of procedures increased from 1,966 to 4,748, or 141 percent, between 2006 and 2009. Ohio State Medical Center’s Ross Heart Hospital now has one of the nation’s highest-volume ablation programs with equally high patient outcomes.

In addition, despite a national downturn in catheterizations and angioplasties, the Ross Heart Hospital’s interventional cardiology program experienced a 20 percent increase in procedures between 2006 and 2009.

At the same time, the heart surgery program has become a national leader for implantation of ventricular assist devices (VADs), as evidenced by a 179 percent increase in the same three-year period. The growth is attributable to transfers of extremely ill heart failure patients who benefit from the team approach to care, which includes a coordinated approach among the surgeon, electrophysiologist and heart failure specialist to achieve the best possible patient outcomes.

The growth at the Ross Heart Hospital was recently chronicled in the American Heart Hospital Journal.

In addition, a successful local and regional STEMI, or ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction, program has reduced by half, the amount of time it takes for heart attack patients arriving at OSU Medical Center to receive specialized care. The regional approach requires collaboration among the in-hospital STEMI alert team, regional emergency medical services units and the OSU emergency department. Since September 2008, STEMI patients brought to the Ross Heart Hospital have seen circulation restored in the catheterization lab an average of 28 minutes after entering the building.

While the STEMI program is speeding the treatment of heart attack patients, interventional cardiology researchers and clinicians are studying the effectiveness of using non-embryonic stem cells to regenerate heart muscle and restore function.

Ohio State researchers have found that “pretreating” adult stem cells with an anti-angina drug allows them to better adapt to the harsh environment of their transplantation site, in an effort to determine whether those transplanted cells eliminate or slow the tissue deterioration that would lead to heart failure. The Ross Heart Hospital is also collaborating with Arteriocyte, a biotechnology company created at Case Western Reserve University, to develop stem-cell therapies for human use.

In the 2009 U.S. News & World Report magazine rankings, the Ross Heart Hospital was recognized as a leader in heart care, ranking 37 out of 4,861 hospitals from around the country. The OSU Medical Center has also been named one of the top U.S. hospitals for inpatient cardiovascular care by Thomson Reuters.

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