MORRISTOWN, NJ (Morris County) – Atlantic Health System’s Morristown Medical Center, nationally recognized for heart care, today opened one of the region’s first radial lounges in its Gagnon Cardiovascular Institute. Morristown Medical Center has been named the top hospital in New Jersey, and its cardiology and cardiac surgery program ranked among the Top 50 nationally.
Radial lounges are specifically designed to meet the needs of cardiac catherization patients who have had their procedure performed through a catheter inserted into their radial (wrist) artery, also known as transradial catheterization. This procedure, which has a shorter recovery period and less bleeding risk than traditional cardiac catheterizations done through the femoral (groin) artery, is now an option for many patients who are catheterized in order to conduct a diagnostic angiogram or have an angioplasty or stent procedure.
“Nearly half of all cardiac catheterizations are now done transradially, and there is plenty of data to show it is very safe and can be done as an outpatient procedure” said Jordan G. Safirstein, MD, FACC, FSCAI, Director of Transradial Catheterization for Atlantic Health System’s Morristown Medical Center and a nationally recognized thought leader on transradial catherization and stenting. “We saw the need for a recovery area for these patients that was more comfortable. These patients don’t need a traditional recovery room. Our goal is to safely send patients home on the same day of their procedure but while they spend time with us, it should be time spent relaxing, reading, receiving education about their procedure and prevention of future events. If they need new medications, we can provide that to them before they leave.”
The newly designed radial lounge at Morristown Medical Center has six bays that will be more comfortable for patients and family members. In a traditional recovery room, transradial catheterization patients are confined to a stretcher and wall monitors. The radial lounge is a modernized recovery area, where the recovering patient can walk around while being monitored via wireless telemetry.
“Patients can help themselves to food and beverages, sit in a comfortable lounge chair, and even use the restroom independently,” said Dr. Safirstein. “This all leads to a more comfortable and humane recovery period for transradial cardiac catheterization patients.”
Although the post-procedure bleeding risk is virtually nonexistent with radial access, a pressure wristband, also known as a TR band, is placed following the transradial catheterization in order to stop the artery from bleeding. Transradial procedures use minimal sedation and patients typically walk back to their recovery bays, sometimes with a bathroom stop. Transradial patients are alert and oriented, and only remain in recovery long enough to remove the TR band, generally in 4-6 hours.
Dr. Safirstein specializes in cardiac and peripheral vascular Intervention as well as minimally invasive transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR). He is one of the interventional cardiologists on the Valve Center team at Morristown Medical Center, which has performed more TAVR procedures than any other facility in the state of New Jersey.