Innovative procedure performed
St. Joseph’s Hospital is performing Shockwave Intravascular Lithotripsy (IVL), an innovative minimally invasive procedure for coronary artery disease, a leading cause of death in the United States, according to a news release.
Shockwave lithotripsy, approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2021, uses ultrasonic pressure waves to break up calcium buildup in heart arteries. The procedure may eliminate the need for open-heart surgery, in some cases, the release said.
Candidates for IVL may have a significant narrowing of the heart or substantial heart muscle weakness.
As people with coronary artery disease get older and the disease advances, calcium in the arteries hardens and restricts blood flow. This makes it difficult to install stents (tiny metal scaffolds that can open blocked arteries).
In the shockwave technology, a catheter is placed in the artery and inflates a balloon at low pressure. Shockwave then transmits ultrasonic pressure waves that delicately break down the calcium deposits. After the calcifications are broken, the balloon is expanded to prepare the artery for stenting, to restore blood flow.
The IVL is the second recent, newer cardiovascular procedure now being performed at St. Joseph’s Hospital-North. The hospital announced last year that it also performs TCAR, a surgery for carotid artery disease.
Mental health services
AdventHealth has announced the expansion of its mental health focus outside of the primary care setting, during a press conference with Tampa Bay Thrives and additional community partners, according to a news release.
The health system will expand its care to provide same-day access to a mental health clinician at 10 AdventHealth Express Care at Walgreens locations across Tampa Bay, via telehealth.
“Mental health is a crisis and because it’s so important to meet the people where they are to provide both physical and mental health care, we’ve embedded immediate telehealth mental health services within our own teams and with the communities we serve,” said John Johannessen, senior executive officer of Non-Acute Care, AdventHealth West Florida Division, in the release.
Currently, AdventHealth physician practices at AdventHealth Care Pavilion New Tampa connect patients with expert mental health clinicians to receive same-day behavioral health treatment, via phone or video visit, from the privacy of their home.
May is Stroke Awareness Month, and the Department of Health-Pasco County (DOH-Pasco) wants the public to know the risk factors, symptoms, and how to prevent a stroke.
Timely treatment for a stroke is to know and understand the warning signs, as described by the B.E. F.A.S.T. acronym.
- Balance: Is the person suddenly having trouble with balance or coordination?
- Eyes: Is the person experiencing suddenly blurred or double vision or a sudden loss of vision in one or both eyes without pain?
- Face: Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile.
- Arms: Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
- Speech: Is speech slurred, is the person unable to speak, or is the person hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence, such as “The sky is blue.” Is the sentence repeated correctly?
- Time: If the person shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 911 and get the person to the hospital immediately.
Risk factors for stroke that can be changed, treated or medically managed include: High blood pressure, diabetes, smoking, unhealthy diet, high blood cholesterol, lack of exercise, excessive alcohol use, and excessive weight.
DOH-Pasco recommends routine checkups for blood pressure and make overall health screenings a top priority.