2007-05-30 / Health Care

Mt. Sinai Seeks Cath Lab

The Mount Sinai Hospital of Queens is asking area residents to sign and send in postcards requesting Richard Daines, M.D., state Department of Health commissioner, to establish a cardiac catheterization laboratory in Western Queens. The Mount Sinai Hospital of Queens is asking area residents to sign and send in postcards requesting Richard Daines, M.D., state Department of Health commissioner, to establish a cardiac catheterization laboratory in Western Queens. Mount Sinai Hospital in Queens is asking for the community's help. The hospital has applied to create a cardiac catheterization lab in the community and is passing out postcards for residents to petition the New York state Department of Health to allow it.

"The residents of Western Queens need a cardiac catheterization laboratory. We should not have to travel far, or to Manhattan, to get the care that we need," reads the petition addressed to Richard Daines, M.D., state Commissioner of Health.

Among the recommendations Borough President Helen Marshall made last year for better health care in the borough was greater access to cardiac treatment. "Time is one of the most important factors in saving lives and ability during a cardiac crisis," the petition states. "We urge the State of New York to approve Mt. Sinai Hospital of Queens' application to create a cardiac catheterization laboratory in our community."

Cardiac catheterization is a diagnostic procedure in which a long, thin tube is placed in a blood vessel and then guided to the heart. The catheter may be inserted into either arteries or veins, depending on the information doctors need, in either an arm or leg.

A dye, for contrast, is also injected through the catheter to determine whether narrowing or blockages are present in the coronary arteries and to measure how well the heart valves and heart muscle function.

The procedure is considered important because although stress tests, electrocardiograms (EKG), echocardiograms and physical exams provide doctors with much information on heart muscle function and heart valves, they don't provide all the answers.

Cardiac catheterization allows doctors to see an outline of the coronary arteries and to determine precisely the extent of blockages.

Representatives of Mt. Sinai Queens distributed the postcards, entitled, "Build a Cardiac Catheterization Lab at Mount Sinai Hospital of Queens", at the May 22 meeting of the 114th Precinct Community Council and at other community organizations.

The petition postcards ask residents to list their names, addresses, and signatures and send them to Dr. Daines, Commissioner for the N.Y.S. Department of Health, in Albany.

Mount Sinai Queens, which is affiliated with Mount Sinai Hospital of New York City in Manhattan, is also currently renovating its Emergency Department and Surgical Services. The new ER is expanded, with triage, waiting room, separate radiology, and asthma treatment centers.- Richard Gentilviso

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