New specialist brings vital interventional cardiology services to Portage County
UH Clinical Update - July 2018
Before 2016, UH patients in Portage County who needed an emergency angioplasty or other interventional cardiology services were transferred to UH Ahuja Medical Center or even to main campus. As a result, door-to-balloon times could go as high as 120 minutes. That’s all changed with the arrival at UH Portage Medical Center of interventional cardiologist Anjan Gupta, MD.
“When Robinson became part of UH, we wanted to create a program to provide high-quality service for patients close to home,” Dr. Gupta says. “That’s why I was recruited, and we started an interventional cardiology program here at UH Portage. We started doing STEMI interventions back in 2016, and it’s been a very successful program. We have not only been able to serve the people in Portage County and the immediate vicinity of Ravenna, but we’re now getting patients from Akron, Canton and the Youngstown area.”
According to Dr. Gupta, 100 percent of the program’s STEMI cases have a door-to-balloon time of less than 60 minutes, which is now the target goal.
“The shorter the door-to-balloon time, the better the outcome,” he says. “By educating EMS and bringing everyone together, we were able to cut door-to-balloon time in one particular case to as short as 12 minutes.”
Dr. Gupta joined UH in September 2016 after a year at St. Vincent Charity Hospital and 18 years at Aurora Sinai Medical Center in Milwaukee, where he did his cardiovascular medicine and interventional cardiology fellowship training. While at Aurora Sinai, he was a member of the faculty of the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health at its Milwaukee Clinical Campus. Dr. Gupta earned his medical degree at Calcutta Medical College and completed residency training in internal medicine at Cleveland Clinic. Although he spends most of his time at UH Portage, he does perform procedures at UH Cleveland Medical Center one day a week.
As he’s building the new interventional cardiology program at UH Portage, one aspect worth highlighting, Dr. Gupta says, is the ability to perform procedures using radial access.
“One of the biggest trends in interventional cardiology in the past few years has been the increase in radial procedures,” he says. “There is better patient satisfaction because there’s less pain. Also when you do a radial approach, patients can most of the time go home the same day. Outcomes are better. Bleeding complications and other complications are less. That helps with providing better quality care to the patient. To be able to provide radial intervention at UH Portage is really quite unique.”
Given that he often deals with patients at their most vulnerable and frightened, Dr. Gupta says he places a premium on clear, concise communication.
“I always speak to the patient using common terms,” he says. “A lot of times, time is of the essence. Sometimes we need to take them straight from the ambulance to the cath lab. I actually go to see them in the ambulance to tell them they’re having a heart attack but that everything is going to be OK. I explain the procedure while we’re rolling into the cath lab – find out what their history is, what their background is. Then throughout the procedure, I keep talking to the patient. After the procedure, I talk to the family. When I see them in the office, going over the angiograms, I explain about heart disease. My philosophy is that prevention is better than cure, so if they’ve had a heart attack, we talk about what they can do to not have another one in the future. I think that’s what makes the patient comfortable. The more they can understand the disease process, the more the fear goes away. Communication is a very important thing and making that patient and the family part of the team.”