SNJ Today/February 28, 2018
The Heart House and Virtua Foundation have purchased 25 Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) that can save more than 1,000 lives a day.
During National Heart Month, through a donation from The Heart House, Virtua Foundation has purchased 25 AEDs that will be distributed all throughout Camden and Burlington counties.
“The Heart House is honored to work with Virtua Foundation to provide Automated External Defibrillators to deserving community organizations,” said Sanford J. Gips, MD, FACC, FSCAI, managing partner of The Heart House. “Sudden cardiac arrest claims more than 1,000 lives every day and more than half of SCA victims have no prior symptoms. The widespread availability of AEDs has the ability to turn a tragedy into a life saved.”
AED are portable devices that send an electric shock through the chest to the heart that can potentially stop an irregular heartbeat, and allow a normal rhythm of the heart to continue. Giving CPR and using an AED can greatly increase a victim’s chance of survival.
“We are truly grateful to The Heart House and Dr. Gips for their commitment to keeping our community safe and healthy,” said Christina Mattison, senior vice president, Virtua Foundation.
For more information, or to learn more about supporting the AED program, contact Virtua Foundation at 856-355-0830 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank You Letters
Dear Ms. Carter, Dr. Gips & Mr. Ginsberg,
Thank you for your generous gift of five AED’s donated to our organization. We consider it an honor to have been chosen to receive them. We are better equipped to serve the needs of our employees, students, guests and members should the need arise.
We will be installing these in our buildings soon and mounting the plaques proudly giving recognition to The Heart House and Virtua Foundation.
Please feel free to contact Gretchen Wilkins, Director of the Life Center, to arrange for classes on cardiac health, CPR training or any other classes you feel that our members would benefit from.
Thank you again!
Rev. Russell Hodgins
Lead Pastor, Fountain of Life Center
Dear Mr. Ginsberg,
I am writing on behalf of the Faith Presbyterian Church in Medford, New Jersey. We would like to express our sincere and deep gratitude for your generous donation of an Automatic External Defibrillator. We are grateful that The Heart House along with The Virtua Foundation are reaching out into the community to help people who are in need of this type of intervention during a medical emergency. We are blessed to know that should one of our members or preschool children have an emergency that we can be on the front line of helping them to survive.
We wish you all the best in The Heart House’s service to community and commitment to cardiac care.
Rev. Rebecca J. Gresham-Kesner
Faith Presbyterian Church
The Heart House is proud to support
The Annual Festival of Arts, Books & Culture
at the Katz JCC in Cherry Hill, New Jersey
November 9-16, 2014
Suspect an Irregular Heartbeat? Let Your Doctor Know
Lourdes Health System: Health Talk Online | September 2014
A lack of rhythm may embarrass you on the dance floor, but when it comes to your heart, slipping out of sync has much more serious consequences.
Hospitalizations for a type of irregular heartbeat called atrial fibrillation — or Afib, for short — increased about 23 percent between 2000 and 2010. In all, the condition sent nearly 4 million Americans to hospital beds during that time. That’s according to a new study in the journal Circulation.
Older, Sicker Population Has More Heart Troubles
Atrial fibrillation is the most common type of irregular heartbeat. It is a sign of a problem in the heart’s electrical system, and it greatly increases the risk for stroke.
“With atrial fibrillation, the hearts regular rhythm is replaced by chaotic electrical activity in the the heart’s upper two chambers. As the upper chambers fibrillate, they quiver and stop squeezing normally. When this happens, blood does not move as smoothly through the heart, and when blood stops moving it can form blood clots,” said George Mark, MD, FACC FHRS, an electrophysiologist (heart rhythm specialist) with The Heart House. “If a clot is pumped into the bloodstream, it can lead to stroke.”
The risk of Afib increases with age, especially after age 60. Experts estimate that 10 percent of people 80 and older have Afib. And as the population ages, more people than ever are at risk.
In addition to age, causes of Afib include:
- Heart disease, including valve problems and a history of heart attacks or heart surgery
- High blood pressure
- An overactive thyroid
- Sleep apnea
- Heavy alcohol or caffeine use
- Use of diet pills or cough and cold medicines
- Family history
Watch for These Red Flags
Afib is sometimes discovered when a patient is being treated for another condition. When symptoms do occur, they may include:
- A pounding, fluttering or racing feeling in the chest
- Dizziness or light-headedness
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
“People with untreated Afib have five times the risk of having a stroke as those with a regular heartbeat,” said Dr. Mark. “If you have any symptoms of Afib, talk with your doctor. If you have chest pain, seek emergency assistance. You could be having a heart attack.”
Restoring Your Rhythm
A number of treatments are available for Afib, including medicines and lifestyle changes.
“If medications do not work, your doctor may suggest cardioversion, in which a controlled electrical shock is delivered to the heart to restore normal rhythm,” said Dr. Mark.
“Another option,” said Dr. Mark, “is a minimally invasive procedure aimed at addressing the root causes of atrial fibrillation. This procedure, called ablation, is performed by maneuvering a catheter from the veins of the leg, up to the heart, in order to identify and destroy the sources of the arrhythmia with either heat energy or freezing. Modern advances in catheter technology have improved both procedural success and safety, which has led more patients than ever before to seek a curative approach.”
To learn more about heart rhythm disorders, visit, www.lourdesnet.org/programs-and-services/heart-and-vascular-care/electrophysiology-heart-rhythm/.
Moorestown Sun | July 23-29, 2014
The last several decades have witnessed remarkable progress in the battle against heart disease and The Heart House has committed itself to remain at the cutting-edge of cardiac care. For diagnosis of heart disease, they offer southern NJ’s only cardiac PET scanner which offers more accurate detection of blockages in less time and with less radiation than traditional nuclear stress testing. For treatment of heart disease, The Heart House offers one of the area’s most active clinical research programs providing patients with early access to the latest medications and treatments for heart disease such as stents, pacemakers, and defibrillators.
The physicians of The Heart House also have one of the largest experiences in the Delaware Valley with the latest valve replacement procedure (TAVR) which can replace an aortic valve through a small incision in the leg without stopping the heart. For the treatment of heart attacks, The Heart House is the only group in southern NJ offering primary angioplasty at four different locations including Cooper, Our Lady of Lourdes, Virtua Marlton, and Inspira Vineland. For patients with abnormal heart rhythms such as atrial fibrillation, electrophysiologists offer one of the regions largest experiences in ablations and other procedures to restore normal rhythm and prevent strokes. The newest edition to The Heart House is the ability to care for varicose veins and diseases of the veins in their office using the latest laser technology.
As southern NJ’s largest independent cardiology practice, The Heart House has offices throughout the region and is the only group to provide cardiac care at all five southern NJ hospital systems. When it comes to caring for your heart, you should choose carefully. Only The Heart House offers you outstanding physicians, compassionate care, and cutting edge technology wherever your heart takes you.
By Regina Schaffer
Courier-Post | March 3, 2014
There is an expression that the heart can “skip a beat” when someone is newly in love, usually referring to the feeling of a racing heartbeat. That can be romantic, and usually is harmless.
It’s when the heart seems to skip a beat again and again — and again — that a person may want to consider seeing a doctor about a possible underlying heart condition.
A fast heartbeat, a slow heartbeat, an irregular heartbeat — all of these fall under the umbrella of what is known as heart arrhythmia. They can occur in perfectly healthy, normal hearts, but they may also signal signs of serious heart problems. Left unchecked, a recurring, abnormal heartbeat could leave a patient in real danger for heart attack, stroke or other medical emergencies.
The heart has its own electrical system, which controls the rate of the heartbeat, says Dr. Andrew Zinn, a cardiologist with Cardiovascular Associates of the Delaware Valley in Elmer.
An arrhythmia is defined as a heartbeat that is very fast (tachycardia, greater than 100 beats per minutes), very slow (bradycardia, less than 60 beats per minute), or irregular.
There are many causes behind heart arrhythmia, including high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, or congestive heart failure. Arrhythmias can also be caused by certain substances or medications, such as caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, diet pills and cough and cold remedies. Emotional states such as shock, fright or stress can also cause irregular heart rhythms.
“The most important thing is what the associated conditions are,” Zinn said. “So, it’s important to look at whether someone has a structurally normal heart, or has any other abnormalities that need to be treated.”
Many people will experience heart palpitations for many reasons, Zinn said, and oftentimes, it is harmless — particularly if the person experiencing the palpitations is young and otherwise healthy.
But it is important to be on the lookout for related symptoms that signal trouble.
“Be aware of dizziness, chest pain, shortness of breath … and be cognizant of any activities that induce these symptoms,” Zinn said. “Lots of people have palpitations, and oftentimes the palpitations are benign. But, with very fast and very slow heart rates, there could be associated symptoms. And in certain circumstance, it can be dangerous.”
Treatment for heart arrhythmia can vary, depending on what heart abnormality a patient is dealing with, Zinn said.
“A doctor will try to figure out exactly what type of arrhythmia it is, and whether it’s associated with abnormalities of the heart,” Zinn said. “Treatment is going to depend on what type of abnormality it is, and whether it keeps bad company.”
“So, the first thing is to treat any underlying causes,” Zinn said. “The second is to try to figure out whether the heart rate is very slow or very fast. With a slow heart rate, sometimes pacemakers are required. With a fast rate, sometimes medications are required.”
With some arrhythmia, there can also be a risk of stroke, Zinn said, requiring a patient to go on blood thinners.
“What people need to understand is that it can be very innocent, but it can be very dangerous,” Zinn said. “It’s that whole concept of structural heart disease. If a 15-year-old with a normal heart has palpitations, it’s unlikely to be dangerous. But if an older patient with heart failure has palpitations, it’s a problem.”
Regardless of the heart condition, Zinn said, lifestyle modification is key to lowering the risk for heart attack and stroke. Simple steps like quitting smoking, eating a healthy, balanced diet and regular exercise go a long way. A patient can work with their doctor to develop health goals and a fitness plan that meets their needs.
“The cornerstone of management of any cardiovascular condition … is appropriate management of cardio risk factors,” Zinn said. “There are many, many reasons why lifestyle modification may help. That’s the first thing we prescribe to basically anybody.”
[To read this article online, follow this link.]
Lourdes Health System: Health Talk Online | January 2014
Sudden cardiac arrest may not always be so sudden, heart experts say.
A recent study has found that cardiac arrest symptoms in men can appear at least a month ahead of time. Signs can include chest pain, shortness of breath, dizziness, fainting or palpitations.
About 360,000 Americans suffer cardiac arrest each year. Fewer than 10 percent survive. It is responsible for half of all heart disease-related deaths.
“Cardiac arrest is usually linked to heart disease, such as a previous heart attack or coronary artery disease. But this is not always the case,” said Steven Levi, MD, FACC, an electrophysiologist with The Heart House. “Sudden cardiac arrest is a medical emergency. If not treated immediately, a person can die within a few minutes.”
Out of Rhythm
Sudden cardiac arrest differs from a heart attack. Cardiac arrest occurs when electrical impulses in the heart become rapid or chaotic, causing the heart to stop beating. A heart attack happens when the blood supply to the heart is blocked.
The most common cause of cardiac arrest is an abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmia) called ventricular fibrillation. This occurs when erratic electrical impulses cause your heart’s lower chambers to quiver instead of pumping blood.
Cardiac arrest is immediate and drastic. Symptoms include:
- Sudden collapse
- No pulse
- No breathing
- Loss of consciousness
“When someone suffers cardiac arrest, the brain is the first part of the body to suffer. Unlike other organs, it does not have a reserve of oxygen-rich blood. It relies on the heart,” said Dr. Levi. “Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and external shocks from a defibrillator can help restart the heart. But if your heart rhythm isn’t restored within 10 minutes, death or permanent brain damage is likely.”
In the new study, researchers examined medical records of 800 men aged 35 to 65 who had an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest during a 12-year period in Portland, Oregon.
Of the 567 men who had an arrest, researchers determined 53 percent had symptoms beforehand. Those included chest pain, shortness of breath, dizziness, fainting and flu-like symptoms.
Eighty percent of the symptoms happened between four weeks and one hour before the actual arrest. Most of the men had heart disease, but only half had been diagnosed.
“The risk of cardiac arrest increases with age, but that doesn’t mean younger people are immune,” said Dr. Levi. “If you have these kinds of symptoms, don’t blow them off. Seek care immediately.”
[To read this article online, follow this link.]