Northwestern Medicine

Iron Mike Speaks from the Heart

Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital December 19, 2007

LAKE FOREST, IL – At the very moment a heart attack occurs or your cardiovascular system experiences a problem, there are two critical factors: time and experience. Speed in treating the heart muscle and experts who can handle the emergency are critical to saving a life.

Our new state-of-the-art cardiac catheterization lab offers the best options for the detection and care of coronary artery disease, heart attack, heart failure, high blood pressure and stroke. The new technology aids physicians in their assessment and treatment of a wide variety of cardiac diseases and irregular heart rhythms. Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital is committed to treating and reducing the effects of heart disease—still the number one killer in the world today.

Former Chicago Bear coach Mike Ditka says he was lucky his coaches brought him quickly to Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital in 1988 during his heart attack. play

“Lake Forest has meant a lot to me … I kind of matured in this town,” the Pro Football Hall of Fame member reflected. “Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital is a tremendous asset to this community,” said Ditka, one of only two men to have achieved Super Bowl wins as a player, assistant coach and head coach.

Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital’s state-of-the-art Cardiac Catheterization Lab has been facilitating onsite diagnostics and treatment of a much broader range of cardiac patients since its November 2007 opening.

“In the cardiac business, time is muscle,” said Dr. Brian Shortal, a diagnostic catheterization specialist and key member of the cardiology team that oversees the new lab along with Cardiac and Pulmonary Services Manager Ron Raymundo, RN, BSN. “The Cardiac Cath Lab enables us to diagnose and treat STEMI (ST segment elevated myocardial infarction) patients, thus putting Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital on a direct route for EMS transfer,” explained Shortal.  “We will now be one of Lake County’s primary EMS destinations and an important player in the overall treatment of cardiovascular disease.”

The new Cardiac Cath Lab features a state-of-the-art cardiac angiography suite that provides quick, onsite diagnoses and treatment for patients suspected of having cardiovascular disease, as well as those who are suffering acute heart attack.

“We can now assess any type of cardiac disease (e.g., obstructive coronary artery disease, valvular heart disease, congenital heart disease and congestive heart failure) as well as peripheral (non-cardiac) vascular disease,” explains Dr. Jonathan Gilbert, cardiologist and Cardiac Cath Lab medical director. “We’ve become a one-stop shop for cardiovascular testing and therapeutics!”

A veteran team of technicians and cardiology service experts will manage the day-to-day lab operation, led by Gilbert. Designed to allow for future expansion, the 5,000-square- foot lab has four prep and recovery rooms surrounding the cardiac angiography suite, thus enabling patients to be prepped, have their procedure and recover without leaving the area.

“Patient care is all about accessibility to medical services,” said Shortal. “In the past, while we may have been strong at diagnostics, a patient with chest pain or a positive stress test would typically require outsourcing to another treatment facility. “That is no longer the case with the opening of our high-tech Cardiac Cath Lab.”

For Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital, the state-of-the-art Cardiac Catheterization Lab is the latest step in a continuing journey to set the standard for what a community-based hospital can achieve when it commits to delivering the highest quality patient care, driven by a medical team that is second to none.

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