The Cardiovascular Centers of CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Health System strive to maintain or restore an optimum level of heart health for patients seeking procedural or surgical intervention.
CHRISTUS Santa Rosa is proud to have Centers which are accredited as Certified Chest Pain Centers with PCI designation from the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care. Since more than five million Americans visit hospitals each year with chest pain, Chest Pain Center accreditation ensures a Hospital meets or exceeds quality-of-care measures based on improving the process for the care of the patient with acute coronary syndrome. The care of the patient starts from the onset of the patient's symptoms, and calls for multi-departmental collaboration among emergency dispatch services, emergency medical services, emergency department and catheterization lab, observation unit, and cardiac rehab. Within this model, facilities can plan and organize the delivery of care in a systematic manner, which is then evaluated by surveyors.
The program provides state-of-the-art technology with a focus on early detection of heart disease to help patients enjoy longer, healthier lives. The Cath Labs offer the optimum environment to physicians in meeting emergency, preventive, and restorative cardiac needs of patients.
Our cardiac specialists perform diagnostic coronary and peripheral angiography, as well as coronary and peripheral interventional procedures, to include angioplasty, atherectomy, and stent placement. Our centers also offer comprehensive open heart surgery care.. Highly skilled staff members provide complete heart care before and after a procedure or surgery. Our Centers offer diagnostic digital angiography, advanced interventional cardiovascular services, and diagnostic studies for patients with cardiac arrhythmias, implantation of cardiac devices, and advanced diagnostic and interventional care in peripheral vascular disease. The cardiovascular staff is highly trained and experienced on specific topics related to interventional cardiology.
The state-of-the-art care provided to patients in San Antonio, New Braunfels and surrounding communities includes:
After a heart attack, cardiovascular surgery, or heart-related treatment, CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Health System can help you quickly resume an active lifestyle with rehabilitation services that meet the nation’s most rigorous standards for quality care.
Our physician-supervised, physician-prescribed Comprehensive Cardiac Rehabilitation Program is nationally certified by the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation – the highest level of accreditation a cardiac rehabilitation program can receive. This recognition of excellence acknowledges our cardiac rehabilitation care team’s ongoing commitment to delivering the utmost cardiac rehabilitation care for every patient.
CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Cardiac Rehabilitation programs are individually designed for each patient and are supervised by a cardiologist and managed by cardiac rehabilitation professionals. Everything we do is done with one goal in mind: To help patients quickly recover from cardiovascular problems, such as heart attacks or coronary artery bypass graft surgery; and pulmonary problems, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and respiratory symptoms. Through exercise, education, counseling and support for both patients and families, our cardiovascular and pulmonary rehabilitation programs are designed to guide patients back to health. Cardiac rehabilitation helps patients recognize and change unhealthy habits and establish new, healthier ones. Rehabilitation may last six weeks, six months, or even longer depending on the individual’s needs.
Cardiac rehabilitation has three major components:
Yes, it is safe. Studies show that serious health problems caused by cardiac rehabilitation exercise are very rare. For those rare times, the cardiac rehabilitation team is trained to handle emergencies. Most patients can safely exercise without supervision once they learn their limitations and become more aware of their responses to exercise.
The goals of cardiac rehabilitation are different for each patient. The cardiac rehabilitation staff helps patients set their own personal goals by evaluating their general health, disease process, risks for future heart problems, doctor recommendations, and their own preferences and desires.
CHRISTUS Santa Rosa cardiac rehabilitation professionals will begin a range of motion exercises and a walking program for patients within 24 hours after an event and will increase walking each day. Patients will be scheduled to begin outpatient cardiac rehabilitation two to four weeks after discharge from the hospital depending on their condition.
When the patient can safely exercise alone and has received maximum benefit from the cardiac rehabilitation program, they are discharged from the monitored portion of the cardiac rehabilitation program. Although patients “graduate” from the cardiac rehabilitation program they know that they will never graduate from their newly learned healthy lifestyle that includes smarter food choices, regular exercise, freedom from smoking, and stress management. Choices for continued exercise programs are numerous. Patients may choose to continue on a non-monitored basis at the clinic, begin a home exercise regimen, or participate in a community exercise program.
A number of specialized laboratories work to support the Cardiovascular Centers of CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Health System. These state-of-the-art facilities are staffed by dedicated and capable diagnostics professionals utilizing the latest equipment and techniques.
The vascular system is made up of the vessels that guide blood to and from the heart and lungs. Vascular diseases such as clots or other problems in blood vessels are very common, especially as people age. These diseases can be very serious if they are not diagnosed and treated. The Vascular Labs at CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Hospitals use several methods to test for vascular disease.
Tests we perform may include, but are not limited to:
Q: What is an ultrasound exam?
A: An ultrasound exam uses sound waves to look at blood vessels. These tests check for narrowing, blockage, clots, or weakness. Your doctor may request that the vessels in your neck, arms, or legs be examined.
Q: How is an ultrasound exam performed?
A: A technologist will apply a water-based gel to the skin in the area being examined. The gel helps to transmit the ultrasound waves. The technologist will guide a tool that transmits and receives sound waves over the skin surface to examine the blood vessel.
Q: How is an arterial evaluation performed?
A: If an arterial examination of the arms or legs is ordered, the technologist may use blood pressure cuffs to evaluate how well blood is flowing.
Q: Are there any preparations needed for these tests (i.e.: do I need to fast)?
A: For the most part, there is no special preparation. The exception to the rule is when a renal (kidney) exam is requested. For that particular exam, we ask that you not eat or drink eight hours prior to the exam. Your doctor will provide you with instructions on preparing for exams.
Q: How long does an exam take?
A: Exam times can vary, depending on the type of test. Typically, exams take between 30-60 minutes.
Q: Will it hurt?
A: No. Most exams are non-invasive. That is, your skin will not be pierced with any instruments.
The Cardiac Catheterization (Cath) Lab is equipped with two state-of-the-art rooms performing numerous heart, vessel imaging, special procedures, studies, and treatments. The Cath lab has highly trained specialists consisting of registered nurses, radiology technologists, and cardiovascular technologists who aid in identifying and diagnosing treatment of heart and vascular problems. Our staff is certified in Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) and performs with integrity and respect for our patients and adhere to our mission to extend the healing ministry of Jesus Christ.
The Cath lab was established as part of the CHRISTUS Santa Rosa commitment to bring advanced cardiac and vascular care to San Antonio and New Braunfels.
Some of our services include:
Q: What is the Purpose of a Cardiac Catheterization/Vessel Angiogram?
A: This non-surgical diagnostic test is done with x-ray technology to aid in diagnosing heart problems, like coronary artery disease and peripheral vascular disease or vessel of the limbs, kidneys, carotids, brain, etc. It provides necessary information to help you, the patient, along with your physician decide on the best course of treatment necessary.
Q: What will I See, Feel, and Hear During the Procedure?
A: The Cath lab has the same temperature and environment as an operating room. There is large equipment located in the room needed to gain necessary information about your heart and vessels. You will be placed on a narrow table and connected to the equipment to monitor your heart rhythm and vital signs. You will be awake during the procedure. A sedative will be given to you to help you relax. Next, an Associate will prep/scrub the area (arm or groin). Once prepped, the physician will inject a local anesthetic to that area to numb the skin. You may feel pressure as the catheter is put into the vessel. From this point on through the procedure you should not feel any more discomfort in that area. During the procedure dye is injected through the catheter and X-ray pictures are taken to view your heart's arteries or other vessels the physician has planned to view. Tell the doctor or Associate if you have any chest pain, nausea, shortness of breath, or any other discomfort during the test. You will hear the Associates and physicians talking and calling out technical terms; however, this is part of the procedure and you should not be alarmed. The physician or Associate will address you directly if your help during the procedure is needed.
A heart catheterization usually lasts less than an hour. For all other procedures time may vary but you and your family will be given updates on the length of the procedure.
Q: What happens after the procedure?
A: After you return to your room your vital signs, including blood pressure, heart rate, and rhythm, will be checked frequently for the next four to eight hours. The nurse will also check for signs of bleeding at the site where the catheter was placed. The pulses of your arms and legs will also be frequently monitored. If a catheter was placed in your groin, you will be on bed rest for a period of four to eight hours and asked not to bend the leg where the catheter was placed.
After you go home drink plenty of fluids for the first 24 hours. The dressing on your groin may be removed after 24 hours. You may shower after the dressing has been removed.
The Special Procedures Lab provides support for diagnostic cardiac catheterization and interventional radiology procedures, as well as the immediate pre- and post-procedure patient care. While this lab does not perform interventional cardiology procedures at the present time, pacemaker implantations and pacemaker/lead change outs are offered. Interventional radiology includes such procedures as vertebroplasties, renal and biliary stents, and IVC filters.
The Special Procedures Lab is staffed to operate from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, with extended hours offered as required. An "on-call" staff member is available for emergency procedures outside of normal operating hours.Patient Population
The patient population served by the Special Procedures Laboratory consists of adult and geriatric patients requiring diagnostic studies, as well as patients undergoing non-cardiac therapeutic interventional procedures.Direct Patient Care
The patient's physical, psychological, and social needs are assessed on admission to the pre-op holding area, with a plan of care developed and revised as necessary. The actual invasive procedure is done under the direct supervision of the performing physician, assisted by a multidisciplinary professional staff of allied health team members. The patient is normally returned to the holding area prior to discharge from the special procedures lab.Staffing
Basic staffing consists of at least one RN in the pre- and post-procedure holding area, and a mix of at least three RNs and radiology/cardiovascular techs in the special procedures lab itself. One staff member will continuously monitor the patient's vital signs and record diagnostic findings in the event record, while an RN will administer medications upon the request of the physician and a cardiovascular tech will assist the physician operator with the handling of equipment and supplies. All staff members are BLS and ACLS certified through the American Heart Association, and most nursing staff members have prior Intensive Care Unit experience.
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