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KDMC Opens Fourth Floor of Heart & Vascular Center

HVC 4th Floor Chest Pain UnitSome 30 months after the initial opening of the King’s Daughters Heart and Vascular Center, the top floor of the facility is scheduled to begin operations. The fourth floor, which had been empty, now houses the 24-bed Heart and Vascular Intermediate Unit (HVIU), and the 26-bed Chest Pain Unit (CPU). The CPU, which is an outpatient observation unit, begins patient care on Dec. 29, and the HVIU, a cardiac inpatient unit, opens Jan. 2.

“The fourth floor has a different color and design scheme than the other floors of the Heart and Vascular Center, so it’s distinctive,” said Kristie Whitlatch, vice president of the Heart and Vascular Center. “It continues the hotel-like atmosphere of the other floors. All the rooms are private and have private bathrooms, which is what our patients have asked for.”

Whitlatch said she is excited to have extra bed capacity to improve intake of referral patients. “Due to increasing census during the past several years, there have been times when it has been a challenge to accommodate patients.” Whitlatch said the new Intermediate Unit, along with the realignment of existing beds, will help the transfer situation – keeping cardiovascular patients in the Heart and Vascular Center, while placing surgical and medical patients in the appropriate beds in the main medical center. She added that KDMC continues to pursue the approval of 80 more licensed beds by the Kentucky Cabinet for Health Services.

The Heart and Vascular Intermediate Unit will care for patients who require critical care nursing and close monitoring, including:

  • heart failure patients
  • patients with stable balloon pumps
  • patients recovering from vascular procedures, such as abdominal aortic aneurysm repair, peripheral vascular angioplasty or bypass, thrombectomies, and carotid surgery and stenting

The Chest Pain Unit moves from the first level of the Heart and Vascular Center to the fourth floor, and increases from 20 to 26 beds. The CPU cares for patients who are experiencing signs of acute coronary syndrome, to monitor their condition and determine the cause of their distress. From here, patients may be discharged, scheduled for further tests, or admitted. It is believed these extra beds will help expedite heart patients waiting in the Emergency Department for a hospital bed.

With the Chest Pain Unit moving to the fourth floor, the 20-bed unit on the 1st floor is becoming the Heart and Vascular Pre-Op Unit. This unit will provide preparation for patients who are about to undergo a vascular or cardiac catheterization.

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