In an interview with the Bayonne Community News, Chief Hospital Executive at Bayonne Medical Center Dr. Vijay Singh said the hospital is seeing COVID-19 survivors with weakness of the heart.
He said patients go through cardio rehab for a few weeks, under the watchful eye of a cardiologist. Echocardiograms are vital to understanding how the heart has been affected by the virus.
The Cardiac Rehab opened at BMC a few weeks ago, adhering to strict protocols, including social distancing and plexiglass partitions between exercise machines.
Rehab patients are tested for COVID-19, and are given symptom and temperature checks when they start rehab. Only three patients are scheduled for each session.
That allows two hours for the hospital to clean the center and disinfect and ventilate the gym before the next patient.
Singh said patients are happy to exercise after beating COVID-19, forming a rehab community.
Singh encouraged people who had COVID-19 to get an echocardiogram to find out if the heart muscles have been weakened.
Other cardio procedures
BMC has the only catheterization labs in the city, providing pivotal cardio-related treatment amid the pandemic. The cath labs are part of the Seaport program, which allows the doctors to treat heart attacks as well as perform elective angioplasties, a procedure in which a catheter clears blocked arteries.
Cardiologists were onsite to perform the life-saving treatments at the height of the pandemic. At the cath labs, staff maintains proper PPE, performs symptom screening for patients and staff, and observes adequate social distancing in waiting rooms and other hospital areas.
The hospital has taken many steps to adapt to the ongoing pandemic, including floors with no COVID-19 patients, thermal cameras that perform temperature checks on entering, using ultraviolet light disinfection processes, and testing every patient admitted to the ER for the virus.
Recently, the hospital received awards, including an “A” rating from the hospital grading system, LeapFrog. BMC was recognized twice by the American Heart Association for outstanding treatment of stroke patients and for general achievement.
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