At ValleyCare we understand that cardiovascular disease affects millions of people. We are proud to offer a heart program that includes community outreach, noninvasive diagnostic testing, interventional cardiology, cardiac rehabilitation and open-heart surgery for treatment of coronary artery and valve disease.
Heart disease is the No. 1 cause of death in the United States, surpassing the next seven causes of death combined, including cancer. The American Heart Association recommends that heart attack prevention begin by age 20. Understanding your risk factors is the first step. If you have risks, talk to your doctor about treatment and positive lifestyle changes.
Major risk factors you can change:
- Smoking—the risk is two to four times greater in smokers
- High cholesterol
- High blood pressure
- Physical inactivity
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Staffed by experienced nurses, technicians, interventional cardiologists and radiologists, the Cardiac Catheterization Lab provides diagnostic procedures for both cardiac and noncardiac patients.
Cardiac catheterization is used for diagnosis and treatment of blocked coronary arteries. A thin catheter is guided into an artery and then passed into the heart and coronary arteries. Dye, visible by x-ray, is injected through the catheter, which allows the cardiologist to detect where arteries are narrowed or blocked. If a significant blockage is found, balloon angioplasty and stent placement may be performed.
ValleyCare Medical Center is a designated STEMI Receiving Center (ST elevation myocardial infarction or critical heart attack) and a Cardiac Arrest Receiving Center (no heartbeat, no breathing) for Alameda County.
The Emergency Cardiac Team at ValleyCare consistently achieves some of the fastest "door-to-balloon" times in the nation for patients having an acute myocardial infarction, or heart attack. Door-to-balloon (or reperfusion) is the number of minutes from arrival at the Emergency Department until the opening of the coronary artery blockage in the Cardiac Cath Lab.
Because of these outcomes, ValleyCare Medical Center was chosen to participate in a Yale-New Haven study as one of the top 11 hospitals in the United States achieving times less than 90 minutes. Time is important because the faster coronary artery blood flow is restored, the less heart muscle damage occurs.
The ValleyCare Cardiac Catheterization Lab team implants the latest pacemakers, automatic implantable cardiac defibrillators (AICDs) and cardiac resynchronization therapy-defibrillator devices (CRT-Ds). These devices are indicated for patients at risk for sudden death due to lethal heart rhythms, and those who suffer from severe heart failure.
American College of Cardiology Platinum Performance Award
ValleyCare Health System is only one of 164 hospitals nationwide to receive the American College of Cardiology Foundation's National Cardiovascular Data Registry ACTION Registry—Get With the Guidelines (GWTG) Platinum Performance Achievement Award for 2012. This is the fifth year in a row ValleyCare has received GWTG recognition for treatment of cardiac patients.
The award recognizes ValleyCare's commitment and success in implementing a higher standard of care for heart attack patients and signifies that ValleyCare has reached an aggressive goal of treating these patients to levels of care as outlined by the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association clinical guidelines and recommendations.