A national report highlights the positive outcomes for cardiac patients who receive state-of-the-art angioplasty procedures – the same procedures performed at Windsor Regional Hospital.

The Cardiac Care Quality Indicators Report shows more than 90 per cent of WRH patients who receive cardiac angioplasty do not require readmission to hospital over a crucial 30-day period following the procedure.

The report, developed by the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI), also shows the mortality rate within the first month following the procedure is four per cent or less.

“This is truly a life-saving procedure that continues to show quality outcomes for patients,” says Dr. Mark Kotowycz, MD, Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory at Windsor Regional Hospital. “It gives patients a second chance at a long life.”

WRH performed 628 PCI (percutaneous coronary intervention) procedures in 2015-16, with 460 being emergency procedures.

One of the lives saved through this procedure knows how vital it is to have it in our region. Bruce Krauter, the chief of Essex-Windsor EMS, suffered a heart attack on Aug. 1. The quick work of his own paramedics, hospital ER staff and the Cardiac Cath Lab team led him to the PCI procedure and a successful recovery.

“This procedure saved my life,” says Krauter. “I have pride and comfort knowing that each day this service is provided to those who experience the same condition as me.”

Stats show the need for PCI procedures is strong in Windsor-Essex. A study published in April 2017 by the Canadian Medical Association Journal says our region has one of the unhealthiest populations in all of Canada.

The report says local residents are at much higher risk of heart attack, stroke or dying of cardiovascular disease. It also says residents are more likely to be obese, smoke and have unhealthy eating habits.

Yet, stats show no change in the mortality rate of these high-risk patients and the national average after receiving treatment at the cardiac cath lab at Windsor Regional Hospital.

“We are extremely proud of our cardiac cath lab team and the amazing work they do every day to improve the health of so many individuals in our community” says Karen Riddell, Interim Vice President of Critical Care, Cardiology and Regional Stroke.

WRH is one of only five stand-alone cardiac angioplasty sites in Ontario and became a 24-hour, seven-days-a-week service after funding from the Ontario government in July 2014.

Hospital officials say they are still working with the Ministry of Health to get a second table for the lab, so they can help save the lives of even more cardiac patients.