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St. Mary Echocardiography Laboratory Earns National Accreditation

LANGHORNE, Pa., November 24, 2008 – The echocardiography laboratory at St. Mary Medical Center has earned accreditation from the Intersocietal Commission for the Accreditation of Echocardiography Laboratories (ICAEL) in the area of adult transthoracic echocardiography. Adult transthoracic echocardiography is a non-invasive procedure that uses sound waves to help doctors examine a heart’s structure and functioning during the diagnosis of heart disease.

According to the ICAEL, St. Mary is one of the first 1,000 echocardiography laboratories in the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico to be recognized for its commitment to patient safety and the provision of high quality diagnostic testing in this field.

“This is the first accreditation to be attained by the St. Mary echocardiography laboratory and is completely voluntary,” notes St. Mary cardiologist Dr. Atul Trivedi, Medical Director of the Echocardiography Laboratory. “The accreditation process required an extensive review of not only the laboratory’s clinical protocols, but also the professional and educational credentials of our technical and medical staffs. We are thrilled to have the professionalism and expertise of our registered and registry-eligible sonographers and cardiologists recognized in such a way by this independent accrediting organization.”

St. Mary Medical Center performs more than 6,500 adult transthoracic echocardiographies each year. In addition to these diagnostic procedures, the echocardiography laboratory at St. Mary Medical Center provides pediatric echocardiography, stress echocardiography, and transeophageal echocardiography.

“Echocardiography is just one many advanced cardiac diagnostic services available at St. Mary Medical Center,” says Chief of Cardiology Dr. Richard Leshner. “We offer a full range of cardiovascular services and are delighted to receive yet another recognition of the quality of care we provide to our community.”

Cardiac diagnostic procedures include:
  • Electrocardiography (EKG), which detects abnormal heart rhythms, heart chamber enlargements, impaired blood supply, and evidence of heart attacks.
  • Signal Average EKG, a specialized electrocardiogram that magnifies the electrical signal generated by the heart. The analysis of the graph helps identify people at risk for abnormal heart rhythms.
  • 3-D Echocardiography, which offers additional diagnostic imaging and allows Cardiologists and Cardiac Surgeons the ability to view cardiac structures in 3 dimensions.
  • A-V Optimization, which is an echocardiography-guided method of optimizing pacemaker settings to benefit patients with congestive heart failure.
  • Holter monitoring, which measures cardiac rhythms over a 24- to 48-hour period using a portable electrocardiograph worn by the patient. The EKG strips are evaluated by a Cardiologist to detect abnormalities in a patient’s heart
  • Nuclear cardiology imaging, which scans the heart for blood-flow indications before and after exercise. Using a contrast medium, a physician reviews the pre-exercise and post-exercise images to detect areas of the heart that are not receiving enough blood flow and may indicate a blockage of a coronary artery.
  • Tilt table tests, which show if a patient is prone to sudden drops in blood pressure or slow pulse rates that might result in fainting.
  • Exercise stress tests on a treadmill or stationary bike measure the heart’s response to increasing work levels. Pharmacologic measurements are used for
  • Pediatric and neonatal cardiac studies for children newborn to age 16. Echo and Doppler studies are used to diagnose congenital heart abnormalities and the cause of cardiac murmurs.