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2008 Press Releases
Morton Plant Mease Achieves Heart Care Milestone

Mease Countryside Emergency Cardiac Center Performs 100th Emergency Angioplasty

SAFETY HARBOR, Fla., (September 15, 2008) - The Morton Plant Mease heart program has achieved a milestone resulting in enhanced care for patients experiencing the most critical type of heart attack – an ST elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI). Mease Countryside Emergency Cardiac Center at Mease Countryside Hospital in Safety Harbor has performed its 100th percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) – a minimally invasive emergency heart procedure also known as an angioplasty.

“This is a significant accomplishment for the community and evidence of how we’re serving the health care needs of heart patients in Pinellas County and beyond. Our heart care team is to be commended,” said Lou Galdieri, M.H.A, B.S.N, administrator and chief operating officer, Mease Countryside Hospital.

STEMIs are the most common form of heart attack according to the American Heart Association. Nearly 400,000 Americans experience a STEMI each year. They’re caused by a completely blocked coronary artery and the symptoms include crushing chest pain, weakness and nausea. Emergency angioplasty involves maneuvering a tiny wire into a blocked artery and then inflating a balloon to re-open the artery and restore blood flow to the heart. A stent or slender, mesh tube may then be placed in the artery to keep it open.

Richard Sola, M.D., Morton Plant Mease interventional cardiologist and among the first cardiologists in the United States to perform radial artery angioplasty – angioplasty done through the wrist instead of through the groin, providing fewer bleeding complications and greater comfort for the patient - performed the 100th STEMI procedure at Mease Countryside Emergency Cardiac Center on August 21.

“In just 90 minutes the heart muscle of a patient experiencing this kind of heart attack begins to die. It’s important to diagnose and treat STEMI patients as quickly as possible and at Mease Countryside Emergency Cardiac Center our expertise and experience allows us to do that. In more than 90% of emergency angioplasty cases, patients are treated in under an hour and a half,” said Dr. Sola.

Working closely with Pinellas County Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and Sunstar Paramedics to improve emergency cardiac care in North Pinellas County, Mease Countryside Emergency Cardiac Center began providing emergency angioplasties in the fall of 2007. In addition to angioplasty, the heart team at Mease Countryside Emergency Cardiac Center also performs scheduled cardiac catheterization. A catheterization is a diagnostic test that determines if blood is flowing properly to the heart.

Established in 1985, Mease Countryside Hospital is a 300-bed facility committed to improving the health of everyone it serves. Since 1997 Mease Countryside has been awarded nine Top 100 Hospital designations in the areas of stroke, orthopaedic, intensive care and overall care by the Solucient 100 Top Hospitals: National Benchmarks for Success. In 2008, the hospital was awarded Magnet Designation for the second time by the American Nurses Credentialing Center, the most prestigious national recognition of excellence in nursing care. The hospitals of Morton Plant Mease Health Care are part of the first group of hospitals nationally to have earned re-certification of the Gold Seal of Approval™ for stroke care from the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO). Mease Countryside Hospital is located at 3231 McMullen Booth Rd., Safety Harbor, Fla., (727) 725-6111.

Nationally recognized for health care excellence, Morton Plant Mease Health Care is dedicated to providing community owned health care services that set the standard for high-quality, compassionate care. Morton Plant Mease Health Care is comprised of the following hospitals – Morton Plant, Clearwater; Mease Dunedin, Dunedin; Mease Countryside, Safety Harbor and Morton Plant North Bay, New Port Richey.

Contact: Beth Hardy (727) 298-6199 Phone, (727) 402-8113 Pager or Amy Morrow (727) 461-8538 Phone, (727) 402-5975 Pager