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Sun, July 21

Prescott Heart Center has finger on the pulse of cardiology treatments

Courtesy photo<br>Pierre Tibi, M.D., leads the surgical team at Yavapai Regional Medical Center’s James Family Heart Center.

Courtesy photo<br>Pierre Tibi, M.D., leads the surgical team at Yavapai Regional Medical Center’s James Family Heart Center.

The James Family Heart Center at Yavapai Regional Medical Center West marked a major milestone in January when its team performed its 1,000th open-heart surgery procedure.

The hospital's cardiac program began to take shape in 2000, when YRMC opened its first cardiac catheterization lab and angiography service.

Seven years later, it was the driving force of Pierre Tibi, M.D., that led to the creation of the Heart Center at YRMC West. When the program opened in 2007, people in the Prescott area were able to receive the full range of cardiac surgery, cardiac diagnostics, interventional care and cardiac rehabilitation. The major benefit of the center is that residents do not have to travel out of town, to Phoenix, for example, for this specialized care.

In 2010, a donation from the James family allowed the Heart Center to expand its patient care services and capacity extensively. This expansion consolidated all of the Heart Center services. Part of this expansion was the addition of a new state-of-the-art progressive care unit that serves as a step-down unit from the cardiovascular intensive care unit. This expansion consolidated all of the Heart Center services in one location on the second floor of YRMC's West Campus in Prescott and led to its new name, the James Family Heart Center.

Because of Dr. Tibi's reputation as a top cardiothoracic surgeon and the advanced work he is involved in patient blood management, the James Family Heart Center now attracts patients from around the state and beyond.

The care that the James Family Heart Center provides is multi-disciplinary. In addition to its staff of surgeons, the Heart Center is supported by local cardiologists, advanced clinical practitioners, registered nurses, technologies, physical rehabilitation practitioners and many more.

The only procedures that Dr. Tibi and his team do not perform are heart transplants and pediatric heart surgeries.

The capabilities of the James Family Heart Center save patients and families from having to go to Phoenix for surgery.

"The hospital has spared no expense in getting the best equip-ment and supplying the best resources available," the doctor said.

Many patients come to the Heart Center because of patient blood management, Dr. Tibi said.

This program involves a multitude of techniques before the patient is taken to surgery. This involves drugs to increase the patients' blood stores or how much they have to correct anemia. Then, the process uses a specialized technique during surgery to preserve the red blood cells in order to decrease injury to the blood cells. The post-operative period uses innovative techniques to limit the amount of bleeding during that phase of the surgical process.

Dr. Tibi points to evidence over a 10-year period that shows receiving blood can be associated with lung, kidney, brain and heart complications, length of stay and increased immortality.

By managing patient blood, the risks of blood and blood products - even the patient's own blood - are eliminated, Dr. Tibi said. Once a patient's own blood is out of his body, "it undergoes degradation and doesn't do its job."

"There is a significant difference in patients who have surgery without getting blood," Dr. Tibi said.

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