Heart screening help save lives, find unknown illness  

Aug 28
2011

Courtesy of NWI Times

A man stopped at Porter hospital for a heart screening shortly before he left for an out-of-state golf tournament. The screening revealed an abdominal aortic aneurysm that had ruptured and the man was rushed to surgery. Once recovered, the man thanked everyone at the hospital from housekeepers to the surgeons.

"It was a great catch and it was easily fixed," said Mark Kime, director of cardiology at Porter hospital. He said there have been at least three similar situations in which patients have come in on their own for a screening and been rushed into surgery to fix a substantial problem.

While leading a tour of the new Porter hospital, being built at U.S. 6 and Ind. 49, Porter hospital CEO Jonathan Nalli stopped the tour in what will be the Cardiac and Vascular Institute, what he called "a hospital within a hospital."

"The more you concentrate on such an important organ in our body, the better the outcomes overall," Nalli said.

Porter isn't the only local hospital to emphasize heart heath. In July, Methodist Hospitals received the Get With the Guidelines-Heart Failure Bronza Quality Achievement Award from the American Heart Association. The award shows Methodist Hospitals met a goal of treating heart failure patients for at least 90 days with an 85 percent compliance to core standard levels of care as outlined by the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology guidelines.

"We want a heart center that is No. 1 in terms of technology," Methodist Hospitals CEO Ian McFadden said. "We're looking hard at our benchmark goals. Our whole focus next year is the heart program."

At Ingalls Hospital in Harvey, an online screening is available at www.Ingalls.org. The HeartAware screening offers a free, quick and comprehensive look at your heart and helps determine your risk for heart disease. The screening takes about seven minutes, according to the website, and offers a printable report once the assessment is completed. If the assessment reveals three or more risk factors for heart disease, you'll be eligible for a free health screening package with a follow up by an Ingalls nurse navigator.

Like Ingalls, Kime also advocates heart screenings. At Porter, the screenings are available for $85 and can be scheduled by calling (219) 263-5483. In every 1,000 screenings, there are about four emergency surgeries and 43 percent of patients screened need some kind of follow-up.

"Screenings save many a life here," Kime said. "This is a calling for us. Almost a sacred thing. We love what we do."

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