Northside Hospital-Forsyth now offers Percutaneous Coronary Interventions – PCI (previously called cardiac angioplasty).
Currently, there is no provider located in Forsyth or Dawson counties offering this service. Northside Hospital-Forsyth is expected to primarily serve the residents of these two counties since approximately 70% of the hospital’s inpatients, outpatients and emergency department patients originate from this area. In 2007, more than 300 residents from Forsyth and Dawson needed PCIs and all of these patients had to leave their home counties in order to receive the necessary medical care.
In 2008, the Northside Hospital-Forsyth saw/treated more than 230 heart attack patients. Having an adult PCI program in place will allow the Hospital to provide the potentially “muscle saving” heart services without the patient having to be transported to Atlanta.
PCI is recognized as a critical interventional procedure for individuals suffering a heart attack due to blockage in the arteries. Historically, Georgia law only permitted PCI services to be provided in hospitals with on-site open heart surgery programs. However, in 2008, the Georgia General Assembly amended the CON (Certificate of Need) laws to permit any hospital offering diagnostic cardiac catheterization services to apply to offer PCI services without an on-site open heart surgery program, provided the hospital could demonstrate that it complies with strict criteria established by Georgia’s Department of Community Health to offer high-quality angioplasty services. One of the crucial requirements is for the hospital to have very specific protocol in place regarding expedited transfer of patients in the event it is determined the patient needs open heart surgery capabilities or back-up. Northside Hospital-Forsyth has partnered with St. Joseph’s Hospital of Atlanta if patient transfer is deemed necessary. The Hospital also has an agreement with Central Emergency Services and Air Methods (EMS services) to ensure timely transports, by ground or air, with advanced cardiac life support capabilities onboard.
“The high-quality service along with the experienced physicians and staff at Northside Hospital-Forsyth are of a very high caliber, and have performed hundreds of angioplasties at other hospitals,” said Aman Kakkar, M.D., Northside Hospital-Forsyth’s Cardiac Cath Lab Medical Director. The “team’s” combined experience includes more than 60 years of cath lab expertise, so cardiac patients can rest assured they will be in good hands at Northside Hospital-Forsyth.”
Additionally, the Hospital has been approved to open a second cardiac cath lab. This lab will further enhance the cardiac services available at Northside Hospital-Forsyth. The second lab will be operational in May. The existing cath lab saw more than 850 patients in its first 12 months of operation.