Advances & Achievements in Heart and Vascular

When you need cardiac care, Hartford Hospital’s nationally recognized experts stand ready.

This past year, Hartford HealthCare brought cardiac services throughout the system together with the establishment of the Hartford HealthCare Heart and Vascular Institute, in which Hartford Hospital plays a major role. Dr. Sabet W. Hashim, a world-renowned expert in mitral valve repair, is chairman of cardiac surgery and co-physician-in-chief of the Institute with internationally recognized Hartford Hospital cardiologist Dr. Paul Thompson. Hashim performed New England’s first mitral valve repair in 1984 and has since performed more than 1,500 mitral valve repairs and 10,000 open heart procedures. Thompson is known worldwide as an expert on the effects of exercise on the heart.

Hartford Hospital’s Chest Pain Center is one of only two in the state with PCI (percutaneous coronary intervention) Accreditation from the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care. PCI, commonly known as coronary angioplasty, is used to open narrow or blocked arteries and restore blood flow to the heart. Almost 4,000 procedures were performed in our Cardiac Lab last year. The accreditation means that the Chest Pain Center has met very rigorous standards to ensure that patients receive rapid treatment to minimize damage.

For patients considered too high-risk for standard valve-replacement surgery and considered non-operable, Hartford Hospital has an answer. Recently, the hospital marked the fourth anniversary of our Structural Heart Program with a follow-up of two patients who had the procedure four years ago. TAVR (Trans-catheter Aortic Valve Replacement) is minimally invasive surgery to repair the heart valve without removing the damaged valve. Patients leave the hospital in approximately two days and recovery time is significantly reduced. Because of our extensive participation in clinical trials and research, we can now offer this approach to intermediate-risk patients (where surgery is still an option).

Hartford HealthCare’s Mobile ECMO (Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation) Program offers a chance at life for the sickest of the sick suffering from respiratory and cardiac failure. It’s the only program in Connecticut that brings expertise and state of the art technology to patients in hospitals throughout the state. Several patients with the flu last winter were saved because of this program.


Left to Right:

Sabet Hashim, MD

Co-Physician-in-Chief, Hartford HealthCare
Heart & Vascular Institute

Paul Thompson, MD

Co-Physician-in-Chief, Hartford HealthCare
Heart & Vascular Institute

Additionally, Hartford Hospital’s clinical research team has been working with the hospital’s Cardiac Electrophysiology group to test a new approach to implanting pacemakers for better patient outcomes. The trial will determine if using an antibacterial mesh around the pacemaker reduces the risk of major infections following surgery. The team has enrolled more than 60 patients, placing Hartford Hospital in the top five highest-enrolling study sites in the world.

Hartford Hospital’s Cardiac Rehabilitation Program once again received national accreditation, given only after an extensive review of patient outcomes, staff competencies and adherence to best practices and evaluation of medical readiness, patient education and patient satisfaction. Patient satisfaction with the Hartford Hospital program ranges from 92 percent to 100 percent.