"Heart Disease...it's the leading cause of death in the United States"
But many risk factors contributing to heart disease can be controlled. Things like diet, exercise, smoking and stress are all important factors in the prevention of heart disease-factors you can do something about. Indeed, with heart disease, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Pain Is No Gain
At the first signs of chest pains or heart discomfort, the staff at Northside Medical Center encourage you to call 9-1-1 and get to the hospital immediately. The emergency medicine physicians at Northside will help determine from examination (vital signs, blood pressure, lab work, EKG) and medical history the proper course of treatment. The sooner the blood flow is resumed, the less heart muscle damage occurs.
Early detection prior to an event such as a heart attack can mean the difference between full recovery and death. Our physicians use tests to detect even minor abnormalities of the heart. We have performed thousands of cardiovascular tests and procedures and have access to the medical technology needed to combat heart disease.
Don’t Ignore the Symptoms! Heart attacks can be sudden and intense; however, most heart attacks start slowly with mild pain and discomfort. Far too often people with symptoms wait too long before getting help. Review the following signs that could indicate a heart attack is happening so you know when to call for help.
- Chest discomfort located in the center of the chest that lasts for a few minutes or comes and goes. It may feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain
- Discomfort in other areas of the upper body, such as one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach
- Shortness of breath that often comes with the chest pain but may occur before the chest pain
- Breaking out in a cold sweat
High blood pressure often has no symptoms. You may have it and not know it. That’s why Northside Medical Center offers free blood pressure screenings throughout northern Lake County each month – to help identify high blood pressure so those with it can get treated before too much damage is done.
Normal blood pressure readings are less than 140 over 90. Numbers equal to or greater than 140 over 90 cause the heart to work harder and can contribute to stroke.
Have your blood pressure checked at least once a year. Print this convenient sheet to record your blood pressure readings on. Take the sheet along to your doctor’s office when you have your annual exam and discuss your blood pressure along with other concerns you may have.
Risk Factors for Heart Disease You Can Change
- Physical inactivity
- High blood cholesterol
- High blood pressure
Take control now and reduce your risk for heart disease.
Most people think having a stroke is a concern for the elderly. Think again! Nearly 30 percent of stroke victims are under 65 years old.
Stroke, also known as a “brain attack”, occurs when a blood vessel bringing oxygen to the brain bursts or is clogged by a clot. It is a leading cause of serious, long-term disability for adults. However, new treatments, many available at Northside Medical Center, can greatly reduce the damage caused by stroke when symptoms are recognized early.
If you or someone you know experiences one or more of these signs or symptoms, call 911 or your local emergency system immediately:
- Sudden numbness or weakness in the face, arm or leg, especially one side of the body
- Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding speech
- Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
- Sudden trouble walking, dizziness or loss of balance or coordination
- Sudden severe headache with no known cause
Be aware of your risks and be prepared. Controllable stroke risk factors include:
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- High blood cholesterol
ValleyCare Heart and Vascular
Once known to the community as, The Heart Hospital, ValleyCare’s cardiac care is offered at both Northside Medical Center and Trumbull Memorial Hospital. The Heart Hospital performs more than 2000 cardiac catheterizations and 300 open heart surgeries annually.
As a leader in cardiac care in the community, ValleyCare Heart and Vascular has a strong history of ‘firsts.’ It was the first heart hospital in Mahoning Valley, the first in Trumbull County to perform open heart surgery, and the first to offer interventional cardiology services. Also, it was the site of the area’s first atrial fibrillation surgery and first endovascular stent grafting.
Northside Medical Center’s dedicated team is committed to providing quality care in a patient-centered environment for a variety of services including:
- Open Heart Surgery
- Valve Repair and Replacements
- Stents and Angioplasty
- Bypass Procedures
- Cardiac Care Unit
- Cath Lab
- Cardiac Diagnostic Services
Cardiac Intermediate Care Unit (CICU)
The Cardiac Intermediate Care Unit (CICU) monitors medical cardiac adult patients with primary diagnoses of sepsis, heart failure, myocardial infarction or electrophysiology disturbances.
The Cardiac Laboratory, with two dedicated heart rooms and a shared holding room, provides the community with both inpatient and outpatient procedures. The lab offers an adjunct diagnostic and therapeutic service including invasive diagnostic and interventional procedures on patients twenty-two years or older.
Cardiovascular Intermediate Care Unit (CVICU)
The Cardiovascular Intermediate Care Unit (CVIC) unit, established in 2008, provides round-the-clock care to patients who have recently undergone cardiothoracic or vascular surgery or who require cardiac telemetry and CAPD.
Cardiovascular Telemetry is designed for the care of patients who need their heart rhythms monitored. While in the unit, patients wear a wireless device that transmits signals from the heart to antennas located in the hallways. If well enough to move about, patients may walk freely through the hallways while their heart is being continuously monitored.
Much of the equipment used in this area will be unfamiliar to patients and families. An explanation of this equipment will be given by the nursing staff.
Visiting policies vary, depending upon patient condition and caregiving. Please ask the nurses before entering patient rooms.
Pulmonary Care Unit (PCU)
An adult intermediate care unit, the Pulmonary Care Unit (PCU) provides services to patients requiring continuous cardiac monitoring, aggressive pulmonary toileting or ventilator support, and antiarrhythmic therapy.
C.T.V.S. – Cardiothoracic and Vascular Specialists
Committed to clinical excellence and patient care, our team of board certified cardiothoracic surgeons, specially trained cardiac nurses and other heart care specialists deliver high-quality and compassionate cardiovascular care at Northside Medical Center and Trumbull Memorial Hospital.
With offices and surgery centers conveniently located at both hospitals, we provide area residents access to dedicated specialists with comprehensive knowledge in technology, diagnostics, medical interventional therapies and surgical options while remaining close to home – in the care of physicians and healthcare professionals they know and trust.
CTVS is a four-physician surgical group that offers a full range of adult cardiac, thoracic and vascular services including:
- Coronary Artery Bypass Grafts
- Heart Valve Repair and Replacements
- Atrial Fibrillation Ablation
- Resection of Lung Cancer and Tumors
- Esophageal Surgeries, including Laparoscopic Reflux procedures
- Peripheral Vascular By-pass
- Endovascular Stenting and Angioplasty
- Cartoid Artery Surgery
- Aortic Surgery
- Surgical Endoscopy
- Vascular Lab Services are also offered on site
Meet our Team:
Thomas A. d’Amato, M.D., Ph.D, FACS - Cardiothoracic Surgeon
Board-certified in cardiothoracic and general surgery, Dr. d'Amato provides the Mahoning Valley community with numerous cardiac-related services including complex cardiac operations, combined coronary and valve operations, minimally-invasive valve surgeries, surgical treatment for heart failure, mitral valve repair, aortic surgery, off-pump cardiac surgery, arrhythmia surgery, peripheral vascular and endovascular surgery. Dr. d’Amato has more than 12 years of surgical experience including additional training in thoracic oncology. Dr. d'Amato is the Chairman of the Department of Cardiovascular Medicine. He is the institutional leader for clinical research activities in several national research trials in lung, vascular and cardiac surgery.
Alejandro A. Franco, M.D. - Cardiothoracic Surgeon
Dr. Franco has provided high-quality cardiac care to the residents of the Mahoning Valley for more than 30 years. He did his fellowship at The Cleveland Clinic Foundation and as a leading heart surgeon for Mahoning Valley, has performed more than 6,000 open heart surgeries in his career. His focus is on repairing and reconstructing damaged coronary arteries and valves and correcting atrial fibrillation.
Eugene V. Vitvitsky, M.D. - Cardiothoracic Surgeon
With Fellowship training from the University of Tennessee and additional training from The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, board-certified Dr. Vitvitsky has a broad experience in cardiac surgery including reconstructive valvular surgery, off-pump coronary bypass surgery, minimally invasive valvular surgery, endovascular surgery and aneurysm repair.
Michael S. Cicchillo, M.D. - Vascular Surgeon
Board-certified Dr. Cicchillo did his fellowship at Greenville Hospital System – University Medical System. He is a vascular surgeon with advanced training and specializes in endovascular and open surgical treatment. Dr. Cicchillo also provides minimally invasive treatment for a wide range of venous disorders including medical treatment for arterial and venous diseases.
Cardiac Diagnostic Services
Cardiac Diagnostic Services at Northside Medical Center include:
CARDIAC STRESS TESTING
During cardiac stress testing, a patient's heart rate is monitored while he or she walks on a treadmill. This test helps the physician evaluate the fitness of the heart and blood supply system.
This test uses sound waves to record the heart's internal structure. Physicians often use this procedure to identify damage to the cardiac valves and to measure the size and shape of the heart.
Electrocardiograms (EKG) provide a record of heart rhythms. This data is used to help diagnose abnormal heart rhythm and/or damage to heart muscle.
An electrophysiology (EP) study is a test that records the electrical activity and the electrical pathways of your heart. This test is used to help determine the cause of your heart rhythm disturbance and the best treatment or device for you to treat your heart rhythm.
HOLTER MONITOR STRESS TEST
A Holter Monitor is a recording unit worn around the patient's neck or waist. This device then monitors and records a patient's heartbeat for a 24-hour period and allows the patient to have mobility, while gathering valuable test data.