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Cardiac Care
Diagnosis and Treatment

Our hospital offers state-of-the-art diagnostic methods to detect heart disease and heart disorders. Some of our capabilities include:

Cardiac Catheterization

Cardiac catheterization is a diagnostic test during which a long, thin tube called a catheter is places in a blood vessel and guided to the heart. The catheter may be placed into arteries and veins and is inserted into either arm or leg vessels. A contrast medium, commonly called a dye, is then injected into the catheter and helps determine where blockages or narrowing is present in the coronary arteries. This test measures precisely how well the heart valves and heart muscles are functioning and tests such variables as oxygen content. Several special procedures may be performed during catheterization, each tailored to the patient's special needs. The procedure, which allows the physician to see an outline of the coronary arteries as never before, takes about half an hour and may be performed on either an outpatient or inpatient basis in the hospital's cardiac catheterization lab. The extent of possible blockages can be determined precisely and recovery time is minimal.

Catheterization may be used to evaluate:

  • Angina or undiagnosed chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Palpitations
  • Fainting or lightheadedness
  • Abnormal electrocardiograms or exercise stress test
  • Abnormal heart rhythms

One of the most common reasons for catheterization is to locate blockages from fatty deposits in the artery walls. These deposits, or plaques, narrow the arteries and decrease the blood flow to the heart. Catheterization can define the location and extent of blockage to give the physician an exact diagnosis to guide the most effective treatment - sildenafil kamagra en ligne.

Stress EKG

The stress EKG (electrocardiogram) or stress test takes place on a treadmill or stationary bicycle under the supervision of your cardiologist. As you exercise on the treadmill, the EKG measures your heart's health under the stress of physical activity. At the same time, your blood pressure and pulse are monitored by a specially trained technician, who is an expert in stress testing. Results of your test are evaluated by the cardiologist or your family physician and aid in determining how fit you are and how safe an exercise program is for you, or if a heart problem exists.

Thallium Nuclear Medicine Testing

Toward the end of a stress test, a small amount of radioactive thallium can be injected into a vein to help the cardiologist pinpoint certain problems. The amount of radiation is minimal, and is often lower than that associated with an X-ray procedure.

Echocardiogram

An echocardiogram is a safe and painless diagnostic procedure which uses high frequency sound waves to take moving pictures of the heart. From the images produced by the echocardiogram, it is possible to measure the size of each of the four chambers of the heart, to study the appearance and motion of the heart valves and to conclude how forcefully the heart muscles contract to move the blood into each chamber of the heart and out to the lungs and the rest of the body. Measurements taken from an echocardiogram are useful to your physician in determining how well your heart is working and pinpointing abnormalities.

Cardiac Rehabilitation

Life after a heart attack may mean a special diet and exercise, but it does not mean the end of a high-quality life. Rehabilitation techniques have been used successfully for years to promote and improve fitness, health, energy and a sense of well-being in people with cardiovascular disease. Indian River Memorial Hospital provides cardiac rehabilitation to patients to improve exercise tolerance, energy and a sense of well-being. Specially trained nurses and physical therapists utilize treadmills and lifecycles in accordance with individual treatment plans. The center is supervised by nurses trained in cardiac rehabilitation. Cardiac rehabilitation is generally covered by third party insurers. Most patients who have had a heart attack, bypass surgery or angioplasty, as well as those with angina, valvular disease, hypertension or chronic heart failure are candidates for cardiac rehabilitation. Please check with your insurer for specific coverage information. IRMH offers Cardiac Rehabilitation at the Citrus Medical Plaza in Vero Beach.

Cardiac Support Group

Mended Hearts, Chapter 235 of Vero Beach/Indian River County

The Mended Hearts, Inc., is an international, non-profit, self-help organization for those who have had any heart problems, and for their families, friends and interested persons. You need not have had heart disease to become a member.

We have grown to an international status, with 250 chapters throughout the United States, Canada and New Zealand. Currently there are approximately 30,000 members. The objectives of Mended Hearts are:

  • To visit and encourage, with the approval of a physician, persons with heart disease.
  • To distribute information of specific educational value to members and to other persons with heart disease.
  • To counsel and provide advice and services, where possible to families of patients experiencing heart problems.
  • To establish a program of assistance to surgeons, physicians and hospital staff in their work with heart patients.
  • To cooperate with other organizations in educational and research activities pertaining to heart illness.
  • To plan and conduct suitable programs of educational and social events at monthly meetings.

The Mended Hearts does not raise funds for patients, but it serves as a referral service for help from various groups like the American Heart Association, Visiting Nurse Service, Visiting Homemakers, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, and others.

Our motto is: It’s great to be alive – and to help others. What a lift it is for persons having heart problems to see a healthy Mended Heart. The Mended Heart gives the added strength the patient needs to overcome many doubts and fears by just being there. Families of patients need a special kind of help also!

IRMH Vascular Rehabilitation

A Step in the Right Direction

A leisurely stroll along the beach … a brisk hike in the park … stepping outside to retrieve the newspaper.

These and hundreds of other daily activities involve the simple act of walking. But for some, walking pain hinders these everyday pursuits. But there is hope.

The Vascular Rehabilitation Program at IRMH can help reduce or minimize painful walking caused by poor blood circulation in the legs. The program is a medically supervised exercise and education program for people with peripheral arterial disease (PAD) or intermittent claudication. Specially trained nurses and physical therapists supervise individualized treatment plans.
Some health insurance plans may reimburse for services and should be contacted for specific coverage information.
IRMH’s Vascular Rehab Department is located in the hospital on the first floor, directly across from the cafeteria.