Heart Care Center

St. Bernards Heart Care Center is Arkansas' leading provider of heart care services. Each day our team of intensive care doctors, cardiologists, heart surgeons, nurses and other healthcare professionals treats patients suffering from all forms of cardiac disease, from common heart problems to life-threatening heart conditions. Our specially-trained cardiac clinic staff is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week seeing patients through diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation. If you were recently diagnosed with heart disease, or you're looking for highly skilled, compassionate intensive care doctors and heart specialists, you will find the cardiac care you need right here at St. Bernards Heart Care Center in Jonesboro, Arkansas.

For more information about our cardiac clinic, visit the St. Bernards Heart & Vascular website. 

If you are having a heart emergency, call 911, and get to the St. Bernards Heart Attack Treatment Center in Jonesboro, Arkansas. 

225 E. Jackson Ave
Jonesboro, AR 72401
870-207-5200


The American Heart Association recognizes St. Bernards Healthcare for achieving 85% or higher composite adherence to all Mission: Lifeline STEMI Receiving Center Performance Achievement indicators for consecutive 24-month intervals, 75% or higher compliance on all Mission: Lifeline STEMI Receiving Center quality measures, and First-Door-to-Device time of 120 minutes or less for transfers, to improve the quality of care for STEMI patients. 

 

Cardiac Educator

Educates cardiac patients on cardiac health and risk factors including, but not limited to: smoking cessation, lipid management, the effects of diabetes on the heart, and maintaining heart-healthy blood glucose levels. The Cardiac Educator is also involved with the education of patients on pre- and post-cardiac procedures, assists in educating patients on prescribed medications prior to procedures, assists in coordinating cardiac rehab while patient is both an inpatient and outpatient, and consults with a dietician to see patients with modifiable cardiac risk factors. The Cardiac Educator also assists in referring patients with modifiable cardiac risk factors to community education programs such as:

  • Adult Diabetic Support Group
  • Heart Club
  • Diabetes Awareness
  • Fresh Start
  • Great American Smoke-Out
  • Heart Health Fair
  • Women's Heart Health

Cardiac Outcomes Specialist

Risk Stratification and Pre- and Post-Cardiac Surgery Patient Education is provided.

Cardiac Stepdown Unit

This specialized unit with lower nurse-to-patient ratio for post-cardiac surgery patients is a 12-bed unit located on the second floor.

Cardiopulmonary Rehab

Outpatient Cardiac Rehabilitation is the specific educational and progressive rehabilitation program for cardiac patients.

  • Provides educational and outpatient cardiac rehab services to a multitude of patient populations including cardiac, pulmonary and diabetic patients.
  • Heart Club is a monthly support group for cardiac patients/survivors.
  • A variety of workshops, seminars and special programs are also available to meet community education needs.
  • Outpatient pulmonary rehabilitation is also offered.

Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit (CVICU)

Intensive Care Unit for post-cardiovascular surgery patients is an eight-bed unit located on the northeast wing of the first floor with intensive care doctors. The Intensive Care Unit waiting room is located on the intermediate level of the HeartCare Center. In the Intensive Care Unit, there are also three private family waiting/consultation rooms.

Cardiovascular/Pulmonary Services

  • Electrocardiography (EKG): the electrocardiogram is a recording of the heart's electrical activity as a graph on a moving strip of paper. This gives the doctor important information about the heart, such as heart rate and rhythm, from which the physician can infer medical conditions and past heart history.
  • Ultrasound
    • Carotid Ultrasound Imaging-unilateral and bilateral imaging available.
    • Venous Ultrasound Imaging-unilateral and bilateral imaging available.
    • Echocardiography: a non-invasive method used to visualize actual motions and physical properties of the heart. Transmitting pulses of high frequency sounds and receiving the echo signal, this sophisticated ultrasound instrument is one of the latest advances in identifying heart malfunction. Studies are done with Doppler and color flow and contrast medium as needed.
    • Stress and Dobutamine Echocardiography: combines the modalities of echocardiography and cardiac stress testing to evaluate the heart function non-invasively.
    • Transesophageal Echocardiography: allows the interpreting doctor to visualize cardiac structures on patients who are normally difficult to image and is an excellent vehicle for ruling out thrombus source in the heart as well as evaluation of LV on hand to image patients.
    • Echo contrast is added to Echocardiography studies to enhance LV images as needed.
    • Peripheral artery imaging-lower and upper imaging available.
  • Cardiac Stress Testing: diagnostic treadmill testing, stress echocardiography and nuclear myocardial perfusion imaging studies, both pharmacological and physiological stress are available.
  • Holter monitoring: A recording and scanner provide printouts of heart activity obtained from the Holter monitor. Data analysis by the scanner enables patients to benefit from increased evaluation time.
  • Pulmonary function testing: simple spirometry, nitrogen wash studies and/or body plethysmograph or FRC, flow volume loops and diffusion studies. Bronchodilation done on request.
  • Arterial Segmental Doppler: upper and lower extremity studies performed as well as rest and exercise studies.

Heart Attack Treatment Center

At St. Bernards, there’s a reason we don’t have a chest pain center. Because chest pain is often the last warning sign of a heart attack.

Many heart attack victims, especially women, never have chest pain. In fact, a woman’s chances of surviving a heart attack are less than a man’s. Too many people die each year of an embarrassment to seek help during a heart attack, because they’re afraid that the discomfort they’re feeling might just be indigestion; that they might waste a doctor's time.

At the St. Bernards Heart Attack Treatment Center, a cardiologist is on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week offering immediate heart care for patients experiencing symptoms like shortness of breath, heartburn, indigestion and unexplained pressure, burning, heaviness, tightness or fullness in the center of the chest. For more information, please call (870) 207-5200.

Heart Catheterization/Electrophysiology

Cardiac catheterization is the most definitive means of evaluating patients for coronary artery disease. Electrophysiology allows the doctor to determine the cause of heart rhythm disturbances. For more information, please call (870) 935-6729.

  • As part of our comprehensive HeartCare Center, St. Bernards offers a complete, properly equipped, fully staffed Electrophysiology Program.
  • Our doctors have the ability to perform atrial fibrillation ablations and have access to general anesthesia during AF ablation cases, thanks to recent technology and equipment updates in the medical center’s EP Lab. Renovations in our Cath labs have also given us more square footage in the two state-of-the-art procedure rooms.
  • New advanced equipment additions include the Siemens Acuson X300 System ICE (Intracardiac Echocardiography), Philips FD 20 Imaging System, Maestro Ablation RF System, Stockert 70 Generator with Coolflow Pump, and a new EP Med Recording System.
  • To learn more about Electrophysiology, click here.

Interventional Treatment Options-Acute Coronary Syndrome (ACS)-Acute MI

  • Coronary balloon angioplasty (PTCA), coronary stent placement, Vascular Brachytherapy and Laser Athrectomy are available as options for treatment of specific coronary and peripheral artery lesions (both drug eluting and traditional stents are available).
  • Ablation and implantable devices such as Pacemakers and Internal Cardiac Defibrillators are options for rhythm disturbances.

Non-Interventional Management of Acute MI Patients

Therapy, including Fibrinolytic Tissue Plasminogen Activator (TPA), Activase, and Retevase are available as well as 2b3a platelet-inhibitors.

Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD)

Sometimes heart disease hides in the legs. It’s called peripheral artery disease, and it’s caused by the same buildup of plaque that causes heart disease. At St. Bernards, our new chronic total occlusion (CTO) catheter with an integrated camera allows doctors to navigate inside blocked arteries with full control to find PAD and fix it. 

In addition, as of March 12, 2015, our own Dr. Barry Tedder was named the lead patient enroller in a clinical study designed to evaluate the safety and efficacy of a new system developed by Avinger, Inc., a manufacturer of image-guided, catheter-based systems for the treatment of PAD.

The new Pantheris catheter system is the only device to combine directional atherectomy with real-time intravascular imaging to aid in the removal of plaque from diseased lower extremity arteries.

 

Common Symptoms of PAD might include:

  • Pain or fatigue in the legs that goes away when you rest
  • Numbness in the legs or feet
  • Skin wounds or ulcers on the legs or feet that heel slowly

Call 855.207.7300 to schedule your fast, easy and painless PAD Screening.

 

Aortic Stenosis

Aortic stenosis is a progressive disease that occurs with a narrowing of the patient’s aortic valve opening. Aortic stenosis can be caused by a birth defect, rheumatic fever, radiation therapy, or it can be related to age. In fact, the prevalence of aortic stenosis increases with age. It is estimated that approximately 2.5 million people, or 12.4% of the population, in the United States over the age of 75 suffer from aortic stenosis. 

Human heart valves are remarkable structures. These tissue-paper thin membranes attached to the heart wall constantly open and close to regulate blood flow (causing the sound of a heartbeat). When there is a narrowing of your heart's aortic valve opening, this is known as aortic stenosis. This narrowing does not allow normal blood flow. It is most often caused by age-related calcification, but can be caused by a birth defect, rheumatic fever, or radiation therapy

In elderly patients, aortic stenosis is sometimes caused by the build-up of calcium (mineral deposits) on the aortic valve's leaflets. Over time, the leaflets become stiff, reducing their ability to fully open and close. When the leaflets don't fully open, a person's heart must work harder to push blood through the aortic valve to the rest of the body. Eventually, the heart gets weaker, increasing the risk of heart failure (heart cannot supply enough blood to the body).

If you have severe aortic stenosis and are experiencing symptoms, it can be life-threatening and can progress rapidly.

Because the heart needs to work so much harder pumping blood through the body, it may cause symptoms like severe shortness of breath and extreme fatigue.

However, it's important to know that heart valve disease may occur with no outward symptoms.

While symptoms of aortic valve disease are more associated with severe aortic stenosis, the symptoms are commonly misunderstood by patients as ‘normal’ signs of aging. Many patients initially appear asymptomatic, but on closer examination up to 32% exhibit symptoms.

What are the signs of aortic stenosis?

You may notice symptoms like:

  • Chest pain
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Lightheadedness, feeling dizzy, and/or fainting
  • Difficulty when exercising

Major risk factors

Factors associated with aortic valve disease include the following:

  • Increasing age
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Smoking

Severe aortic stenosis is life threatening, and treatment for this condition is critical. Without aortic valve replacement, patients with severe aortic stenosis have a survival rate as low as 50% at 2 years after the onset of symptoms, and 20% at 5 years after the onset of symptoms.

Diagnosis

In addition to a physical exam, severe aortic stenosis is diagnosed in several ways, the most common being: echocardiogram, electrocardiogram (EKG), chest X-ray of the patient’s heart, and cardiac catheterization (angiography).

Treatment

Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR)
TAVR (sometimes called transcatheter aortic valve implantation, or TAVI), is a less invasive procedure which allows a new valve to be inserted within the native, diseased aortic valve.

The TAVR procedure can be performed using one of many approaches, the most common being the transfemoral approach (through a small incision in the leg). Only a Heart Team can decide which approach is best, based on the patient’s medical condition and other factors.

In preparation for the patient’s procedure, the patient may be placed under anesthesia. The doctor will make an incision in the leg, and will insert a short hollow tube called a sheath. This will allow the doctor to put various devices through the sheath to access the patient’s heart. The heart valve is placed on the delivery system, and compressed onto a balloon to make it small enough to fit through the sheath. Once the delivery system reaches the patient’s diseased valve, the balloon will be inflated with fluid, expanding the new valve into place. The new valve pushes the leaflets of the patient’s diseased valve aside, and the frame of the new valve uses the diseased valve’s leaflets to secure itself in place. The balloon is then deflated and removed. The patient’s doctor will ensure the new valve is working properly before closing up the incision. 

Open-Heart Surgery
During open-heart surgery, the surgeon removes the diseased aortic valve and replaces it with either a mechanical valve (made from man-made materials) or a biological valve (made from animal or human tissue).

Procedures

Cardiac Catheterization:
Diagnostic procedure completed by gently inserting a catheter into the blood vessels that feed the heart. Several injections of x-ray dye are made into the arteries allowing doctors to see heart blockages. Pressure measurements also are taken inside the heart to further evaluate the heart chambers and valves.

Percutaneous Transluminal Coronary Angioplasty:
Also known as PCI or balloon angioplasty, this interventional procedure involves inserting a balloon-tipped catheter into a blocked heart artery. The balloon is then inflated and deflated to compress the blockage of plaque and increase the blood flow.

Coronary Stenting:
A stent is a small metal coil, or mesh tube, that may be placed in the artery to help keep it from reclosing by providing a scaffolding-like support. A stent is commonly used in conjunction with a balloon angioplasty and athrectomies.

Atherectomies:
Technique used to remove plaque from a blocked heart artery. These procedures can be completed using several different state-of-the-art methods that the cath lab has readily available.

Permanent Pacemakers:
Procedure that involves the implantation of an electronic device that helps the heart maintain regular beats.

Coronary Ultrasound:
Device which utilizes sound waves to assist in the evaluation of the heart arteries. A small catheter is placed inside the artery, and pictures are taken from within to better define the blockages.

Peripheral Angioplasty:
Procedure which examines arteries of the body, i.e. arteries in the leg, for diagnosis and treatment, helping increase the blood flow where needed. Balloons and stents are often used in other arteries outside the heart, including the legs, kidneys and carotid arteries.

Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD):
An ICD is a small, electronic device that is permanently place inside the body to help control the heart’s rhythm, speed and pattern. Like a pacemaker, it constantly monitors the heart rhythm. Most importantly, it has the ability to stop a dangerous arrhythmia.

Radiofrequency Catheter Ablation:
In some situations, the specific area of the rhythm disturbance can be corrected by sending heat energy through a catheter to a small region of the heart to vaporize the abnormal area.

Cryoablation:
St. Bernards was the first hospital in Arkansas to use cryoablation, a technique to treat arrhythmias which involves freezing abnormal areas causing arrhythmias. In appropriate patients, cryoablation is often safer and easier to use than alternate procedures that treat by heating.

Electrophysiology (EP) Study:
An EP study is a diagnostic study in which a catheter in gently inserted into the blood vessels that feed the heart. The catheter is guided into the heart and the catheter’s electrodes gather data regarding the heart’s electrical function. During an EP study, an electrophysiologist may provoke arrhythmias and collect data about the events, helping the doctor assess the needed treatment.

Electrophysiology is a cardiology specialty that diagnoses and treats heart arrhythmias, a disturbance of the heart’s normal rhythm that may be serious and even life threatening. (EP lab)

Electrophysiology Lab Services include:

  • Electrophysiology Study
  • Permanent Pacemaker - single, dual, biventricular leads, subcutaneous pacemakers
  • Internal Cardiac Defibrillators
  • Cardiac ablation
  • Atrial Fibrillation Ablation, Ventricular Tachycardia Ablation
  • Intracoronary echo ultrasound (ICE) and digital cardiovascular imaging
  • Loop recording monitors

The Cardiac Catheterization Lab (cardiac cath lab) is a specialized service providing diagnostic and interventional procedures used in the treatment of coronary artery and peripheral vascular disease.

Cath Lab Services include:

  • Diagnostic cardiac catheterization
  • Radial artery cardiac catheterization
  • Intravascular ultrasound
  • Coronary angioplasties and revascularization, Chronic Total Occlusion procedures
  • Thrombectomy – clot removal
  • Atherectomy – Laser and rotational
  • Peripheral angioplasty, Chronic Total Occlusion procedures

Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR)
TAVR (sometimes called transcatheter aortic valve implantation, or TAVI), is a less invasive procedure which allows a new valve to be inserted within the native, diseased aortic valve.

The TAVR procedure can be performed using one of many approaches, the most common being the transfemoral approach (through a small incision in the leg). Only a Heart Team can decide which approach is best, based on the patient’s medical condition and other factors.

In preparation for the patient’s procedure, the patient may be placed under anesthesia. The doctor will make an incision in the leg, and will insert a short hollow tube called a sheath. This will allow the doctor to put various devices through the sheath to access the patient’s heart. The heart valve is placed on the delivery system, and compressed onto a balloon to make it small enough to fit through the sheath. Once the delivery system reaches the patient’s diseased valve, the balloon will be inflated with fluid, expanding the new valve into place. The new valve pushes the leaflets of the patient’s diseased valve aside, and the frame of the new valve uses the diseased valve’s leaflets to secure itself in place. The balloon is then deflated and removed. The patient’s doctor will ensure the new valve is working properly before closing up the incision. 

Want to learn more about the TAVR procedure? Check out this video from Edwards Lifesciences, the company creating the TAVR materials:

CODE STEMI

September of 2012 to January 31, 2013:

  • 67 CODE STEMI activations
  • Average time from 1st Patient Contact to Balloon is 83 minutes-*Note this is not our doorto Balloon
  • Most of the damage from a heart attack occurs in 1st two hours
  • Evidence has shown that restoring blood flow in 120 minutes or less from time of symptom onset reduces patient morbidity and mortality.
  • Class 1 recommendation from AHA/ACC –Percutaneous Cardiac Intervention in 120 minutes or less in transferred in patients and 90 minutes or less in patient’s presenting to hospital ED as walk-in.

State-of-the-Art Cardiovascular Surgical Facility

  • The medical center provides a complete range of cardiac services including procedures such as repair and replacement of heart valves, cardiac revascularization and repair and reconstruction of intrathoracic vessels.
  • Open heart surgery is a highly specialized procedure utilizing a heart-lung bypass machine (the "pump") which performs outside-of-the-body circulation and oxygenation during surgery.
  • Open heart surgery includes a wide range of procedures designed to correct both congenital and acquired cardiac and coronary artery disease.
  • Off Pump Cases are also performed in which this specialized surgery is performed without the use of the heart lung machine. Open heart surgery without the use of the heart lung machine often reduces risks and complications. There is also a quicker recovery time following surgery.
  • AICD (Automatic Implantable Connecter Defibrillator), an implantable device to regulate heart rhythm, is also available.

Telemetry Monitors

Telemetry monitoring available hospital-wide.