Using Cool Technology to Save Hearts at SJHS

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KenWoodbury_copyPaterson, NJ [January 21, 2010]- Ken Woodbury had never heard about St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center's innovative approaches to cardiovascular care. But when he suffered a massive attack that stopped his heart while visiting a local antique show, St. Joseph's moved rapidly to save his life. Regional Medical Center paramedics started therapeutic cooling in the field that continued in the hospital setting - a combined procedure used for the first time in New Jersey by St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center.

This process saved Ken's heart muscle and protected his brain. When Ken arrived by ambulance at St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center, he benefited from the multidisciplinary expertise of the St. Joseph's team - Board-certified physicians, Magnet Award winning nurses and clinical specialists working together in areas including the Emergency Department, Resuscitation Center, Catheterization Lab, the Intensive Care Unit and the Operating Room, where St. Joseph's Cardio-Thoracic Surgical team performed Ken's beating heart, open heart surgery. In a few short weeks, Ken was back doing what he enjoys most—living life to the fullest.


An estimated 1,000 lives could be saved each year if heart attack patients received faster emergency care during and immediately after a heart attack. Recognizing that each minute lost could mean the difference between saving a life... and losing it, St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center (SJRMC) was this region's first hospital to perform therapeutic cooling, a life-saving measure, in the field. Now therapeutic cooling continues in the hospital setting at St. Joseph's.


"We are setting a trend in critical care," explained Mark Rosenberg, DO, Chairman, Emergency Medicine, SJRMC. "Being able to provide our patients, especially our time-sensitive cardiac patients, with innovative and successful protocols in life-saving care, is our mission. This makes St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center, a state designated trauma center, a true leader in emergency care. Having our Mobile Intensive Care Unit (MICU) team initiate therapeutic cooling as cardiac arrest survivors are transported to St. Joseph's is a complement to the overall continuum of care provided to our patients at the medical center. Our program at SJRMC currently has a 50% success rate, which is a phenomenal number compared to other programs across the country. The current national average is 33% set by a hospital on the West Coast."


"Therapeutic cooling is truly a multidisciplinary team effort, which touches the lives of everyone at the hospital," added Dr. Rosenberg.


St. Joseph's Healthcare System (SJHS) uses therapeutic hypothermia, a body-cooling protocol to stabilize cardiac arrest patients whose hearts have stopped and have been restarted. The MICU team initiates this cooling procedure at the scene for patients who are being brought to the medical center, and it is continued for 24-36 hours in the hospital. St. Joseph's also uses this procedure for those patients who are being cared for in the medical center. Therapeutic hypothermia after cardiac arrest has been supported by the American Heart Association for many years and has been used to save lives at SJRMC.


According to an article in the January 30, 2009 Medical News Today Journal, "Emergency Medical Services (EMS) providers implemented therapeutic cooling protocols in a number of major U.S. cities including Seattle, WA, Boston, MA, Raleigh, NC, Houston, TX, Phoenix, AZ and New York, NY."


St. Joseph's, located in Paterson, New Jersey, brings big city advanced practices to North Jersey through such services as The Resuscitation Center at St. Joseph's. The Resuscitation Center is a comprehensive center dedicated to the continuum of care of cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) concerns during a patient's time of medical need. The Center encompasses utilization of the following: therapeutic hypothermia, both pre-hospital and during a patient's visit, pre-hospital EKG and telemetry diagnosis, impedance threshold devices to improve ventilation, automatic chest compression devices, as well as, a Primary Angioplasty Program for ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction (STEMI) patients, application of all of cardiology including electrophysiology for post-arrest and pre-discharge assessment, use of cardiac rehabilitation, and community education.


William A. McDonald, President and Chief Executive Officer, SJHS, is proud of the System's ability to stay on the forefront of medicine. "St. Joseph's Healthcare System provides an extensive range of health care services, top-quality health care providers and state-of-the-art medical advances. Therapeutic cooling is an innovation that extends St. Joseph's high level of care into the surrounding communities where and when it is needed. This service expands our overall continuum of cardiovascular services, a spectrum that includes nationally recognized inpatient care, as well as pre- and post-cardiac care."


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