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The Tidelands Health Newsroom

Published on September 01, 2016

Tidelands Georgetown Memorial Hospital performing elective PCIs

Sept. 1, 2016

Area residents diagnosed with heart disease now have access to advanced cardiac care close to home.

Tidelands Georgetown Memorial Hospital has begun offering elective PCI, or percutaneous coronary intervention, to patients diagnosed with coronary artery blockages in a non-emergent situation. In lay terms, the procedure is commonly known as stent insertion or balloon angioplasty and is used to widen narrow or blocked coronary arteries to increase blood flow to the heart.

Although cardiologists have been performing emergency PCIs since 1998 at Tidelands Georgetown Memorial for those experiencing an acute heart attack, local physicians and patients have had to travel to MUSC Health in Charleston for elective PCIs. This changed in August when Tidelands Georgetown Memorial Hospital received approval from the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) to perform non-emergent PCI procedures as well.  

 “This is really good news for residents of our area,” Said Dr. Mitch Devlin, one of three interventional cardiologists at Tidelands Health. “Making this procedure available to every cardiac patient who needs and qualifies for it is a huge benefit. Patients will no longer have to have a second procedure in Charleston and stay overnight. Having the procedure done close to home takes a travel burden off families, as well.”

 Diseased arteries are diagnosed by a cardiac catheterization, which typically takes about 15 to 30 minutes. A PCI takes between 30 and 90 minutes and is a well-accepted, safe procedure, Dr. Devlin said.  

An accredited Chest Pain Center, Tidelands Georgetown Memorial Hospital has earned several recognitions for cardiac care. The hospital has received Healthgrades five-star quality recognition for treatment of heart attack, treatment of heart failure and defibrillator procedures.

Tidelands Georgetown Memorial Hospital also is rated “gold” by the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline for care of patients experiencing an acute heart attack.  The current median door-to-balloon time, the length of time between when a patient arrives at the hospital until treatment occurs in the cardiac catheterization laboratory is 49 minutes, well below the national goal of 90 minutes.

Dr. Devlin said access to elective PCI is encouraging news for area residents because of the prevalence of heart disease, which is the leading cause of death in the Palmetto State and the nation. According to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, heart disease accounted for 9,924 deaths and more than 49,000 hospitalizations at a cost exceeding $3.1 billion in the state in 2014.

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Tidelands Health is the largest health care provider in Georgetown, Horry and Williamsburg counties. With three hospitals and more than 50 outpatient locations that stretch from Andrews to North Myrtle Beach, Tidelands Health is helping people across the Tidelands region live better lives through better health.