In a decision that will have a tremendous positive impact on the Lexington County community, Lexington Medical Center has received approval from the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) to perform open heart surgery and therapeutic cardiac catheterizations. This approval is a significant milestone that will enhance the delivery of health care to the people of the Midlands and save lives.
The ability to provide full cardiovascular care to the people of Lexington County, including open heart surgery, has been a priority of Lexington Medical Center for years. Lexington Medical Center operates the second largest Emergency Department in South Carolina, treating more than 90,000 ER patients each year. In addition, the hospital operates two busy diagnostic catheterization labs. Each year, Lexington Medical Center has to transfer cardiac patients to other hospitals for treatment.
“With this announcement, Lexington Medical Center takes a significant step toward fulfilling our dream of providing comprehensive cardiovascular care to our Lexington County community,” said Mike Biediger, Lexington Medical Center President & CEO. “Lifesaving heart care will now be closer to home for the people we serve.”
DHEC approved Lexington Medical Center’s Certificate of Need request for full cardiovascular care on June 2, 2010. The CON was filed in conjunction with Providence Hospitals. Under the terms of the agreement, Providence Hospitals will de-license one of its open heart surgery suites and Lexington Medical Center will add one open heart surgery suite, in keeping with the state health plan.
“We are so encouraged by the cooperation and support among the hospitals in the Midlands,” said Thad Westbrook, chairman of the Lexington Medical Center board of directors. “Together, we’ve taken important steps toward improving the quality of care within the communities we serve.”
Lexington Medical Center already has space in its Surgery Department for an open heart surgery operating room. The hospital expects to begin open heart surgery 9 to 12 months from now.
The need for open heart surgery in Lexington County has never been greater. According to statistics from DHEC and the SC Office of Research and Statistics:
~Cardiovascular disease accounts for 1 out of every 3 deaths in South Carolina.
~More South Carolinians die from cardiovascular disease than die from cancer, pneumonia, the flu and vehicle crashes combined.
~Cardiovascular disease deaths increase with age and South Carolina’s population of people over age 60 is increasing.
~Lexington County is one of the fastest growing counties in South Carolina.
~In 2008, 331 Lexington County residents required open heart surgery and 1,153 required angioplasty procedures.