Sentara Norfolk General Hospital Implants the Region's First Drug-Eluting Stent
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Sentara Norfolk General Hospital Implants the Region's First Drug-Eluting Stent 

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Norfolk, VA - April 25, 2003 - At 10:32 a.m. the region's first drug-eluting stent was implanted in a patient at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital. Approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) just 24 hours prior, the new stent is the first combination drug device intended to help reduce restenosis (reblockage) of a treated artery, one of the biggest challenges in long-term treatment of patients requiring interventional cardiology.

Within minutes of determining its suitability for his patient, Cardiologist Dr. Carl W. Hartman implanted the region's first newly FDA-approved stent during a procedure in the cardiac catheterization laboratory at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital. Through the use of this minimally invasive technique, Hartman has potentially spared his patient the need for repeat interventions or possible bypass surgery.

Sentara's cardiac program is leading the way in adopting this new and clinically-proven technology, which is now available at two Sentara facilities-Sentara Norfolk General Hospital and also at Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital.

Cardiologists at both hospitals are currently evaluating their patients in order to offer this device to other qualifying candidates.

"We are thrilled to offer Sentara's heart patients the hope of this new technology, which represents the promise of eliminating coronary artery reblockage," says Rodney F. Hochman, M.D., chief medical officer of Sentara Healthcare.

Long considered the greatest challenge in long-term patient treatment in interventional cardiology, restenosis or reclogging of a coronary artery occurs in nearly one-third of all patients who receive a bare metal stent. However, two large-scale, randomized, double blind clinical trials involving approximately 1,400 patients suggest that only 5 percent of the patients receiving this drug-eluting stent may experience restenosis.

This new device, labeled a breakthrough in the stent technology of the 1990s, combines a stent platform with a unique drug delivery system. By way of a controlled-release polymer matrix bound to the stent, a drug known for stopping cell growth, is released. This drug minimizes the reblockage of the artery caused by scar tissue buildup, which is frequently associated with traditional stent implantation.

Interviews with doctors and patients can be arranged by calling Cheri Hinshelwood at (757) 455-7574 or paging her at (757) 475-9541.

Sentara Norfolk General Hospital is a 569-bed tertiary care facility, known regionally and nationally for many of its specialized services and dedicated facilities. For a third year, Sentara Norfolk General Hospital's cardiac program has received national recognition in U.S. News & World Report's annual survey of America's Best Hospitals, in 2002 ranking 23rd out of 50 U.S. hospitals named for cardiac excellence. The hospital is the area's only Level I Trauma Center and offers Sentara's Cancer Institute, transplant programs, microsurgery, minimally invasive surgery techniques, neurosciences, and reconstructive surgery. It has been named the Quality Leader among Hampton Roads' hospitals for six straight years by the National Research Corporation, a recognized leader in health care performance measurement.

Sentara Virginia Beach Hospital, named among the nation's top hospitals by Modern Healthcare magazine, is a 274-bed tertiary care hospital dedicated to providing a comprehensive array of sophisticated services including open heart surgery and cardiac care; a Level II Trauma Center; the Coastal Cancer Center in affiliation with the Cancer Center at the University of Virginia; the Tidewater Prenatal Center for high risk pregnancies and a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

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