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South Shore Hospital First and Only Hospital in Region to Offer 24-Hour Access to Lifesaving Emergency Angioplasty

For Immediate Release:
Media Contact: Sarah Darcy
November 21, 2005

SO. WEYMOUTH, Mass., Nov. 21, 2005-South Shore Hospital is now the region's first and only hospital to offer round the clock, life-saving primary (emergency) coronary angioplasty to treat individuals experiencing a heart attack (acute myocardial infarction or AMI.) The expanded emergency angioplasty program went into affect on Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2005.

Timing is critical in treating heart attacks. The longer blood flow is blocked during a heart attack, the more damage is done to the heart. Local, 24-hour access to interventional cardiologists at South Shore Hospital means quicker treatment, less damage to the heart, and faster recovery times for patients who suffer a heart attack.

In April 2001, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health initially granted South Shore Hospital approval to perform primary angioplasty, a heart attack treatment which opens clogged arteries using a balloon-tipped catheter. For the last four years, the service has been successfully offered at least eight hours a day, five days a week. In that time, South Shore Hospital has been consistently better than national averages regarding the time between the patient's arrival, and opening the patient's clogged artery with emergency angioplasty. The expansion to a round the clock angioplasty service is expected to save countless more lives.

"My appreciation goes out to all those who have made this program expansion possible-most especially our Board of Directors, our medical staff leadership, our dedicated cardiologists, nurses and clinicians, and our colleagues from Brigham and Women's Hospital. South Shore Hospital is pleased to advance its mission of healing, caring and comforting in a way that will have a positive impact on so many lives," said Richard Aubut, president and chief executive officer of South Shore Hospital.

Cardiac health issues are the primary reason patients seek care at South Shore Hospital. The cardiovascular program includes the region's largest staff of board certified cardiologists, a chest-pain unit in the emergency department, the region's busiest cardiac catheterization laboratory, and the region's only cardiac electrophysiology lab. Patients benefit from highly specialized care provided by nurses dedicated to cardiac care, whether in the hospital or in their homes. And for those recovering from a heart attack or cardiac surgery, South Shore Hospital's cardiac rehabilitation program has helped thousands develop healthy lifestyles that reduce cardiac risk factors.

South Shore Hospital is a 284-bed not-for-profit, tax-exempt, charitable provider of acute, emergency, outpatient, home health, and hospice care to the people of Southeastern Massachusetts.

South Shore Hospital employs 3,400 full- and part-time employees and features Southeastern Massachusetts' largest and most clinically diverse medical staff, with more than 760 members.



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