While COVID-19 is on everyone’s mind, Abrazo Health officials are reminding people that heart disease is the number one killer of men and women in this country.

They urge residents not to delay obtaining heart care at Abrazo Health hospitals and doctors’ offices around the Valley. Patient safety is Abrazo Health’s most important priority during this Coronavirus pandemic. There are protective policies and pre-operative measures in place that originate in Abrazo-affiliated physician practices and offices. Patients who do not have COVID-19 are kept separate from those who have COVID-19 at all times. Care teams at Abrazo hospitals frequently meet to share and adopt best practices that emphasize maintaining patient safety.

Dr. Timothy Byrne, medical director of cardiac services for Abrazo Arizona Heart Hospital, said postponing heart care could cause major complications for patients with many types of cardiovascular conditions. For example, Byrne said conducting a transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), a procedure to replace a diseased aortic valve, can be “life-saving.” As soon as patients start having symptoms related to their aortic valve “the clock starts ticking,” he said. Byrne said patients who have chest pain should not put off going to be tested as it could be a symptom of atherosclerotic heart disease, aortic dissection or pulmonary embolism.

About 655,000 Americans die from heart disease every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). If you want a referral to an Abrazo cardiologist, visit AbrazoHealth.com or call 1-855-93-HEART (1-855-934-3278).




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