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From the heart: Exceptional cardiac care at Osler


August 20, 2018 - Media Releases

From the heart: Exceptional cardiac care at Osler

Not only are Osler hospitals among the busiest in Ontario, our  Cardiology team is running one of the fastest, most efficient cardiac care programs in the province. It's a feat made possible by exceptional teamwork, and necessary by the increasing demand for cardiac care.

Osler serves a growing area with a demographic that is at greater risk of serious heart disease than average. This combination places incredible demand on Osler’s cardiology services. Despite the pressure, Osler has built one of the fastest, most efficient cardiac departments in the province, helping Peel Region achieve the highest survival rates for cardiac arrest compared to neighbouring Halton and Toronto regions. The local EMS team has special training to ensure patients receive life-saving treatment quickly. “We have a program with Peel EMS where we bring people who are having heart attack directly to the ‘Cath Lab’, and we’re able to perform angiograms and angioplasties 24/7 on these patients,” says Dr. Dominic Raco, Osler’s Corporate Chief of Cardiology. 

The ‘Cath Lab’, or Cardiac Procedures Unit located at Brampton Civic Hospital, is the domain of Dr. Shy Amlani, the unit’s Medical Director. It’s here where he and his team clear blockages causing heart attacks in a procedure called angioplasty. 

“It takes, on average, around 40 minutes from the time a patient is brought in by an ambulance, to the time where we open the blockage,” says Dr. Amlani. Osler’s times fall well below the 90-minute standard set by CorHealth Ontario. 

When Gaurav Sharma had a heart attack in 2017, he was rushed to Brampton Civic Hospital where angioplasty opened a blocked artery in less than an hour. “I’m going to celebrate my daughter’s birthday tomorrow. It’s her 5th birthday,” Mr. Sharma said in an interview. “I would say it’s just because of Osler that I’m alive today.”

In addition to more than 2,000 angioplasties like Mr. Sharma’s, the cardiac team performs upwards of 4,000 diagnostic procedures each year, and implants more than 300 pacemakers, which help to correct an irregular heart rate. Cardiac rehabilitation programs at all three Osler hospitals help patients regain function and improve quality of life following a heart attack or surgery. 

While the team continues to work passionately to deliver best-in-class treatment, the ultimate goal is to eliminate the need through education and prevention. “My dream is to put myself out of work over the next 15 to 20 years,” says Dr. Farrukh Hussain, Interventional Cardiologist. “The devastation that we see in a family’s eyes when their loved one comes in—that’s oddly what keeps us going, and wanting to be better, wanting to improve the outcomes and wanting them to not have to come to the ‘Cath Lab’ in the first place.” 

Photo: (L-R) Dr. Shy Amlani, Medical Director, Cardiac Procedures Unit, Brampton Civic Hospital, and Dr. Dominic Raco, Corporate Chief and Medical Director, Cardiovascular Health System.