Emergency Services

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Fast Action Saves Lives – Time is Muscle

If you or someone with you begins to have chest discomfort, especially with one or more of the other symptoms of a heart attack, such as: shortness of breath, cold sweats, nausea, or lightheadedness, CALL 9-1-1 right away. Never drive yourself! Calling 9-1-1 allows treatment to start sooner, saves valuable time, and preserves your heart muscle.

Hunterdon Medical Center’s Emergency Room provides exceptional care to patients experiencing a heart attack, stroke or acute limb ischemia (a vascular emergency). We have the most advanced technology to treat cardiac, vascular and pulmonary patients.
 We work with four Mobile Intensive Care Units (MICUs) in the area so patients can be assessed and treated before they arrive at the hospital. Hunterdon Medical Center’s state-of-the-art Emergency Room includes 22 private patient care areas equipped with the latest cardiac monitoring, and diagnostic equipment. With a comprehensive communication system the entire emergency services team is able to identify, diagnose, and treat patients before they even get to the hospital.

Heart Attack Services at Hunterdon Medical Center
We open blocked arteries and restore blood flow to heart attack patients fast. In the event of a heart attack, every second counts. Timing is critical, and reducing the time between a patient’s arrival in the Emergency Room (ER) and an emergency angioplasty procedure (“door-to-balloon” time) can positively affect patient outcomes. Hunterdon prides itself on exceeding the national “door-to-balloon” time of less than 90 minutes, with an average time of less than 60 minutes. Only state-licensed facilities, like Hunterdon Medical Center, can offer this procedure, which has been proven to reduce mortality rates in heart attack patients.

Time is muscle! Your heart is a muscle that acts as a pump to deliver oxygen and nutrient-rich blood throughout the body to sustain your life. In the event of a heart attack, every second counts. Hunterdon Medical Center’s dedicated team is comprised of the MICU, Emergency Room doctors and nurses, and a Cardiac Catheterization Lab team of board certified interventional cardiologists, and specialty-trained, certified registered nurses and cardiovascular technologists.

We are able to provide emergency angioplasty for heart attacks – a procedure that quickly opens the obstructed coronary artery and restores blood flow and oxygen to the heart. This time-sensitive process begins with EKG data, which is transmitted, en route, from the MICU to the Lifenet Receiving Station in the Emergency Department, where physicians and staff can monitor your condition. The ER doctor is able to interpret the EKG and institute our AMI (Acute Myocardial Infarction/ Heart Attack) protocol. The interventional cardiologist and catheterization lab team are immediately notified, enabling preparation in advance of the patient’s arrival, and starting the procedure as quickly as possible.

Emergency angioplasty has been found to reduce the risk of heart attack-related complications – including stroke or a second heart attack – and reduce the likelihood of the development of congestive heart failure due to heart muscle damage. In most cases, emergency angioplasty requires only local anesthesia, reducing the risk of anesthesia-related complications.

A recent advancement in reducing risk in emergency angioplasty is the use of the radial artery, located in the wrist. Our interventional cardiologists can open blocked arteries with a catheterization and stenting procedure that goes through a patient’s wrist rather than his or her groin. This procedure reduces the risk of bleeding complications, increases patient’s comfort, and shortens the patient’s hospital stay. More than 75 percent of primary angioplasty procedures performed at Hunterdon Medical Center are done through the radial artery.

Recognizing the Signs of a Heart Attack
If you experience any of the symptoms listed below, CALL 9-1-1 immediately:

  • Chest pain:  Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or that comes and goes. This can be pain, fullness, and squeezing, uncomfortable pressure, or even crushing pain.
  • Discomfort in other areas of the upper body: These symptoms can include pain or discomfort in the jaw, neck, back, one or both arms, and stomach.
  • Shortness of breath:  This may occur with or without chest discomfort.
  • Other symptoms: Other signs of a heart attack may include nausea, lightheadedness, or breaking out in a cold sweat.
  • Fatigue, not feeling well: Women, elderly and people with diabetes may experience atypical symptoms of just not feeling well or an extreme sense of tiredness.

Death from a heart attack can occur within an hour after the onset of symptoms. It is imperative to call 9-1-1 ASAP if you experience any of these symptoms. Do not ignore the warning signs of a heart attack. Calling 9-1-1 allows treatment to start sooner. EMTs and the MICU paramedics are able to assess and evaluate the patient. If a heart attack is diagnosed, the team is rapidly dispatched and precious moments are gained. Remember “time is muscle.” DO NOT DRIVE yourself or allow someone to drive you to the emergency room. Our heart and vascular emergency services team has the experience and expertise to treat patients having a heart attack.

Additional information about heart attacks is available by visiting the American Heart Association’s website:

Note: When you click on the following resources you will leave the Hunterdon Healthcare System website and be redirected to an outside site. The individuals portrayed on the outside sites are not employees of Hunterdon Healthcare. Hunterdon Healthcare does not endorse any particular products advertised on the websites visited.

www.americanheart.org

If you are experiencing an emergency, call 9-1-1.

Stroke Services at Hunterdon Medical Center
We provide lifesaving treatment to stroke victims. 
Designated as a Primary Stroke Center by the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services, Hunterdon Medical Center can provide lifesaving treatment to local patients when they need it most – within 3 hours of their first stroke symptoms. This designation is based on Hunterdon Medical Center’s comprehensive capabilities to rapidly identify, evaluate and treat stroke patients, by providing (among others) clot-busting medications, such as tPA, based on national recommendations.

Because immediate care is critical to a stroke patient’s survival and recovery, Hunterdon Medical Center follows Neurological Society guidelines, and is committed to having a stroke team available within 15 minutes following the diagnosis of a potential acute stroke. State-of-the-art neuroimaging services, including computerized tomography (or CT) brain scans and laboratory services are available 24/7. Hunterdon Medical Center’s door to CT scan time is 25 minutes, making the entire diagnostic process from door to CT interpretation 45 minutes or less. Board certified neurologists and neurosurgeons are on call at all times.

As a Primary Stroke Center, Hunterdon meets the standards and performance requirements of The Joint Commission for the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (TJC) in caring for stroke patients and offering state-of-the-art treatments.

Because stroke is considered among the most serious medical emergencies, prompt and aggressive emergency treatment can save lives and minimize brain injury. One of the most important treatments for stroke, a drug called tPA (tissue plasminogen activator), which dissolves clots, can only be injected within three hours of the onset of symptoms..

Signs of Stroke


Stroke is considered a medical emergency. If you think someone may be having a stroke, act F.A.S.T. and do this simple test. Call 9-1-1 immediately:

  • Face: Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
  • Arms: Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
  • Speech: Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence. Are the words slurred? Can he/she repeat the sentence correctly?
  • Time: If the person shows any of these symptoms, time is important. Call 9-1-1 or get to the hospital fast. Brain cells are dying.

Stroke Symptoms

  • Sudden numbness or weakness of face, arm or leg – especially on one side of the body.
  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding.
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes.
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination.
  • Sudden severe headache with no known cause.

Please note that not all the warning signs occur in every stroke. Do not ignore signs of a stroke, even if they go away. Check the time. When did the first warning sign or symptom start? You’ll be asked this important question later.

If you are with someone who may be having stroke symptoms, call 9-1-1immediately. Expect the person to protest; denial is common. Don’t take “no” for an answer. Insist on taking prompt action.

Additional information about stroke is available by visiting the American Stroke Association’s website:

Note: When you click on the following resources you will leave the Hunterdon Healthcare System website and be redirected to an outside site. The individuals portrayed on the outside sites are not employees of Hunterdon Healthcare. Hunterdon Healthcare does not endorse any particular products advertised on the websites visited.

www.strokeassociation.org.

If you are experiencing an emergency, call 9-1-1.

Acute Limb Ischemia (a vascular emergency)
Blockages can affect any artery in the body. PAD (Peripheral Artery Disease) occurs when blood vessels become narrowed or blocked by fatty deposits, or plaque. This buildup of plaque, also called atherosclerosis, causes the arteries, which supply blood flow to the legs and feet, to harden and become clogged. PAD most often occurs in the legs, but can also affect other arteries that carry blood outside the heart. When a piece of plaque or a blood clot breaks off from the lining of the artery, blood flow can be totally obstructed, leading to serious complications. Acute limb ischemia occurs when blood flow to a limb is severely decreased, resulting in lack of oxygen-rich blood flow to the extremity. Vascular emergencies, such as acute limb ischemia can be limb and life threatening. A cold, blue, or painful extremity should be considered a true medical emergency. A few hours can make the difference between loss of limb, or amputation, or even death. Patients can be evaluated in the emergency room and an on-call team is dispatched if acute limb ischemia is diagnosed. Emergent Vascular services at Hunterdon Healthcare System provides treatment options, which include an angiogram to diagnose the blockage, and interventions such as clot removal, clot-busting medications, angioplasty and stenting of the artery.

Additional information about PAD (Peripheral Artery Disease) is available by visiting the following sites:

Note: When you click on the following resources you will leave the Hunterdon Healthcare System website and be redirected to an outside site. The individuals portrayed on the outside sites are not employees of Hunterdon Healthcare. Hunterdon Healthcare does not endorse any particular products advertised on the websites visited.

Vascular Disease Foundation
888-VDF-4INFO
http://www.vdf.org

The P.A.D. Coalition
http://www.PADCoalition.org

Mobile Intensive Care Units
We coordinate emergency services with local paramedics.
 This state-of-the-art emergency medical system works closely with four Mobile Intensive Care Units (MICUs) in the area that act as an extension of the ER to assess and treat patients before they arrive at the hospital.

Four local Mobile Intensive Care Units (MICUs) use Hunterdon Medical Center as their base, including:

  • Hunterdon
  • Lambertville
  • Glen Gardner
  • Greenwich

Together, they serve Hunterdon, Somerset, Warren and Mercer counties to provide advanced treatment and life support equipment in the face of life-threatening emergencies en route to the hospital.

Following New Jersey law, paramedics call the physician first to receive their orders, and then start treatment in the field as quickly as possible. In the case of a heart attack, stroke or congestive heart failure, every second counts. The key to emergency care is “the sooner, the better” for improved patient outcome.

In the event of an emergency and, if possible, be sure to have:  

  • Your personal identification
  • Your current medication(s) or a list of your medication(s)
  • Your insurance identification card (Your insurance company may require that notification be given within a specified time period following your visit – please check your identification card or follow up with your insurance company.)
    • The name of your primary care physician
    • A copy of your advance directive, if you have one
    • Your current address and telephone number

Directions to Hunterdon Medical Center Emergency Department
Hunterdon Medical Center
2100 Wescott Drive
Flemington, NJ 08822

For directions to Hunterdon Medical Center’s Emergency Department, click here and enter your location.
For more information about Hunterdon Medical Center’s Emergency Department, contact 908-788-6183.

Rehabilitation and Home Health Care
From acute care in the Emergency Department through rehabilitation and Home Health Services, Hunterdon has developed a sophisticated protocol to follow stroke patients through recovery, every step of the way. Patients at Hunterdon Medical Center have access to rehabilitative treatment to help restore physical capabilities, as well as Visiting Health and Supportive Services to ease the return home.

Our Physicians

Izzat H Shah, MD FACC

Cardiologist

Harnish Chawla, MD

Interventional Cardiologist

Ted Bialy, MD, FACP, FACC

Non-Invasive Cardiologist

Jonathan Horiuchi, MD

Non-Invasive Cardiologist

Austin Kutscher, MD

Non-Invasive Cardiologist

Robert S. Lind, MD

Non-Invasive Cardiologist

Andrew Rudnick, MD

Cardiac Electrophysiologist

Dubravka Starcevic, MD

Non-Invasive Cardiologist

Glen Tonnessen, MD

Interventional Cardiologist

Andrey Espinoza, MD, FACC, FSCAI

Interventional Cardiologist

William Schafranek, MD

Interventional Cardiologist

Yaser Elnahar, MD

Cardiologist

Herman Maeuser, MD

General Surgeon

Andrew Loesberg, MD

Interventional Radiologist

Thomas Woo, MD

Interventional Radiologist

Additional Staff & Specialists

Maria Feo, BSN, RN-BC, CTTS, Cardiovascular Care Coordinator

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