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2003 Press Releases
Morton Plant Hospital One of First in Tampa Bay to Offer New FDA Approved Drug-Coated Stents
01/06/2005

CLEARWATER, Fla. (April 25, 2003)---Morton Plant Hospital will be one of the first facilities in the Tampa Bay area to offer its cardiac patients the option of drug-coated stents, which were recently approved by the U. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The CYPHER(tm) stent, manufactured by Cordis, a division of Johnson and Johnson, is approved for the treatment of previously untreated coronary artery lesions. The stent was developed to address the problem of restenosis, or reblockage, which occurs in as many as 15 to 30% of patients who receive a bare metal stent. Coated with the antiproliferative-drug sirolimus, the stent will slowly release this drug into the vessel lining to prevent scar tissue growth through the openings in the stent mesh.

"Morton Plant Hospital is committed to bringing patients innovative new technologies that have a positive effect on end results," said Michael D. Williamson, M.D., director of the Heart Catheterization Lab at Morton Plant Hospital and BayCare Health System Cardiology Committee member. The committee evaluated the stents for use at all BayCare hospitals that perform angioplasties and other interventional cardiology procedures in a year-long process to determine how this new technology would best meet the health care needs of the community.

"The CYPHER stent provides patients the potential for reduced need for repeat angioplasty or bypass surgery," said Patrick A. Cambier, M.D., a cardiologist with Morton Plant Hospital and also a BayCare Health System Cardiology Committee member.

Results of large-scale studies involving nearly 1,400 patients worldwide show that the CYPHER stent reduces the incidence of restenosis by more than 90% over a bare metal stent.

Nearly 3,100 stenting procedures are performed annually at Morton Plant Hospital by a team of board-certified interventional cardiologists.

Morton Plant conducts more open heart and interventional procedures than any other hospital in Pinellas County. In 1975, the hospital launched its heart and vascular services and has recorded many firsts that include:

* first hospital in the county to have an electrophysiology program for the diagnosis and treatment of arrhythmias

* first to perform coronary angioplasty and valvuloplasty

* first to perform minimally invasive direct coronary artery bypass.

Established in 1916, Morton Plant Hospital is a 687-bed facility dedicated to improving the health of all it serves through community-owned health services that set the standard for high quality, compassionate care.

In 2002, Morton Plant was named one of America's Top 50 Hospitals, according to AARP Modern Maturity magazine and a 100 Top Hospital in the "Solucient 100 Top Hospitals: Cardiovascular Benchmarks for Success" study for the fourth consecutive year. Morton Plant was also named to the 100 Top Hospital Overall list in 2002. In 2000, HCIA-Sachs (now Solucient) named Morton Plant as the only hospital in the country to achieve 100 Top Hospital status in four categories - cardiovascular, stroke, orthopaedic and overall.

In 2001, Morton Plant Hospital joined forces with H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute at the University of South Florida, Tampa to provide research and services for cancer patients. Morton Plant also offers a family practice residency program in conjunction with the University of South Florida. Morton Plant Hospital is located at 300 Pinellas Street, Clearwater, Fla., 727-462-7000.

Contact: Phoebe Ochman/Beth Hardy

Morton Plant News Bureau

727-461-8538 Phone

727-468-7586 Pager

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