An open book on heart disease
Published 10:08 pm Thursday, August 7, 2014
Cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause of death in the United States, with one American dying from it every 39 seconds.
The American Heart Association put the direct and indirect cost for 2010 at $503.2 billion.
But early detection with echocardiography can vastly improve a patient’s chances of recovery.
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Recently, Diagnostic Cardiac Services, which operates at Bon Secours’ Health Center at Harbour View and Maryview in Portsmouth, gained a sought-after seal of approval for its echocardiography services.
The Intersocietal Accreditation Commission granted a three-year re-accreditation in the area of “Adult Transthoracic, Adult Transesophageal, Adult Stress,” according to Bon Secours spokeswoman Lynne Zultanky.
Since August 2013, more than 5,150 of the tests have been performed at the two facilities, Zultanky says.
Cardiologist Ryan Seutter described echocardiography in terms of an ultrasound of the heart.
“It’s a non-invasive technique to evaluate the structure and function of the heart,” Seutter said, demonstrating one of the pieces of equipment at the Medical Center at Harbour View recently.
“Initially we had just 2-D images, but with the revelation of 3-D imaging, we can see the heart alive and beating. It’s the same technique used to look at babies in the womb.”
Different types of doppler imaging are used to see the flow of blood, Seutter said.
The North Suffolk location offers transthoracic and adult stress ultrasounds, while Maryview offers those as well as transesophageal ultrasounds, according to Zultanky.
The tests alone are helpful, she said, but much more is required for an accurate diagnosis: The skills of the sonographer, the type of equipment used, the background and knowledge of the interpreting physician and quality assurance measures are all critical factors that come into play.
“We are honored to receive recognition from this highly respected organization,” Joseph Oddis, CEO of the Health Center at Harbour View and Maryview, stated.
“I am very proud of the hard work of the cardiac team and the team’s commitment to providing the highest quality patient care.”
Patients can check the accreditation status of a facility, and learn more about IAC accreditation, at www.intersocietal.org/echo/main/patients.htm.
“It’s certainly the benchmark to meet,” Seutter said, that adding that it means the appropriate equipment, staff and techniques are all in place.
“Not all businesses are certified. It really does give a level of distinction.”