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Grand Strand Regional Hosts Open House for New Cardiac Wing

September 28, 2011

Myrtle Beach, SC - Grand Strand Regional Medical Center’s new three story hospital wing is complete and ready for the public to tour.  The community is invited to a dedication and open house for the new addition on Sunday, October 9 from 2 – 5 pm.  The wing is located on the southeast side of the hospital.  Patients will be admitted on October 24.

The public will have the opportunity to tour the new 90,000 square foot addition which consolidates many of the hospital’s cardiac services including three cardiac catheterization laboratories, one electrophysiology laboratory, a 12-bed pre/post catheterization area, two eight-bed intensive care units and a 24-bed cardiac progressive care unit.  

The project is part of a $54 million expansion program, started in spring 2010 that also includes an emergency department expansion and 50 new inpatient beds. The wing is adjacent to the eight bed cardiovascular intensive care unit and connected with a bridge. The construction of the remaining 10 of the 50 additional beds in the existing hospital will be completed in early 2012.

“Our cardiac services were spread throughout the hospital and this new construction allows us to consolidate the majority of cardiac services,” said Doug White, CEO. “The new addition not only adds much needed space to the hospital, but also adds new technology with the electrophysiology (EP) laboratory.”

At a cost of over $2 million, the EP lab has a sophisticated 3-D mapping system to make a computerized map of the heart’s chambers and is one of the only biplane (two levels) fluoroscopy units in the region.  Electrophysiology involves diagnostic and treatment procedures for abnormal heart rhythms or arrhythmias and includes implantation of pacemakers and automatic defibrillators.

Every effort has been made to provide a comfortable and private experience for patients and their family members.  Patients scheduled for a cardiac catheterization or cardiac testing will enter the new wing rather than walking through the hospital.

All rooms are private and waiting rooms on the first two floors are larger to accommodate family members.

One component of the new addition is an ambulance entrance for STEMI patients, the most serious type of heart attack.  EMS will transfer STEMI patients directly from the ambulance to the catheterization laboratory, reducing door to balloon time (D2B) and improving outcomes.

Door to balloon is the time from when a patient arrives at the hospital to the time when the blocked artery is opened in the catheterization lab.  The national standard is 90 minutes or less. Grand Strand Regional’s 12 month average is 50 minutes with some patients as low as 22 minutes.  

“We have excellent D2B times but direct access to the cath lab will help us save more minutes,” said Laura Ware, RN, cardiovascular services director.

The first floor houses a registration/admission area, education room, waiting room, three cardiac catheterization laboratories, one electrophysiology laboratory, a 12-bed pre/post cath area, an eight bed unit intensive care unit and echo/EKG/testing.

The second floor includes an eight bed intensive care unit, 24- bed cardiac telemetry unit and waiting room.

The third floor is shell space for future expansion.

Grand Strand Regional Medical Center has the only cardiac surgery program in Horry, Georgetown and Brunswick counties.  The hospital is ranked #1 in cardiac surgery in South Carolina by HealthGrades for 2010 and 2011.  Grand Strand Regional also is the only hospital in the region providing minimally invasive valve repair/replacement.

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