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Memorial Health System adding open heart services

Memorial Health System interventional cardiologist Dr. Solomon Bagae and nurse practitioner John Arnold talk about treating heart failure during a Provider Series Dinner at the Blennerhassett Hotel Tuesday evening. (Photo by Brett Dunlap)

PARKERSBURG — Physicians and medical personnel from the Memorial Health System were in Parkersburg Tuesday evening talking about heart health and heart care at a dinner at the Blennerhassett Hotel.

Around 90 people attended the dinner, as part of the Provider Series, in recognition of Heart Health Month and in preparation of soon having open heart services.

MHS will be providing open heart surgery services to their patients in the upcoming months, hospital officials said. They are expanding the Marietta facility with new cardiac operating suites and specialized cardiovascular intensive care unit, they said.

Hospital officials said the facilities will include the latest technology along with world-class care. Construction is underway and is planned to be finished by early spring.

Interventional cardiologists Dr. Motaz Moussa and Dr. Solomon Bagae talked about the signs and symptoms of a heart attack and heart failure and how they go about treating them.

Memorial Health System interventional cardiologist Dr. Motaz Moussa talks about heart attacks and how they are treated during a Provider Series Dinner at the Blennerhassett Hotel Tuesday evening. (Photo by Brett Dunlap)

Moussa talked about coronary arteries disease, peripheral artery disease and other concerns they see.

MHS has treatments that include heart catheterizations; percutaneous coronary interventions (balloon angioplasty/stents) for acute myocardial infarctions and coronary artery disease; transthoracic and transesophageal echocardiography; pacemaker and implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) insertion; synchronized cardioversions; exercise and pharmacological stress testing; nuclear cardiac imaging and peripheral percutaneous revascularization.

Moussa talked about people who have had a heart catheterization who will later say they had a heart attack when they go to the hospital which is not the same thing.

”Not every patient who has a heart catheterization has had a heart attack,” he said. ”It is going to be (a doctor) who tells you had a heart attack (after the proper tests are done) or not.

”We deal a lot with this.”

He talked about a patient who recently had stents put in at age 95 as people are living longer.

People asked if there was a regular test available that people could be checked to see if they could be in danger of having a heart attack soon.

Moussa said they were many factors that go into a heart attack, but there wasn’t an immediate test that looks at the arteries and could tell them someone would have a heart attack in a certain time period.

”What we go by are your symptoms,” he said. ”When you have shortness of breath, you are really tired or you are having chest pains.”

People come in with symptoms including chest discomfort that may go to the arms or the back which come when they exert themselves. Some people have numbness in their fingers or pain in their jaws among atypical symptoms that could affect many women.

Bagae and nurse practitioner John Arnold talked about heart failure.

”The heart is a pump,” Bagae said. ”Every organ is relying on the heart to have the blood flow to that organ.

”Heart failure is a pump problem. Once we have the diagnosis, what are the things we need to do to improve the heart function?”

It can sometimes be misdiagnosed as a lung problem or something else. It can be a result of family history.

Both men said there is a team of people who treats patients with heart failure providing a wide range of services.

People need to manage their risks, including managing diabetes, high blood pressure, and coronary artery disease (cholesterol) with proper medications. People may have pacemakers or defibrillators and have implantable monitoring devices put in.

Symptoms of heart failure include sudden weight gain, like three pounds in 24 hours from retaining fluids; shortness of breath with exertion; swelling of the lower legs, abdomen or both may be present, Arnold said.

”Heart failure affects 6.5 million Americans,” he said. ”915,000 Americans are diagnosed every year. It is the leading cause of hospitalization in the Medicare population.”

Another Provider Dinner will be 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 25 at the Elizabeth Sugden Broughton Community Building, 639 State Route 821, Marietta. Presentations will be made by Dr. Meisam Moghbelli and Dr. Arshad Rehan.

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