Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

February 14, 2014

A big heart for the community

KDMC brings educational display to Ashland Town Center

ASHLAND — King’s Daughters Medical Center has opened its heart to the community in a new way with its Mega Heart XL inflatable replica.

The giant human heart, built to model interior heart functions, opened on Valentine’s Day in the Ashland Town Center lobby and will remain there until 9 p.m. Saturday.

The display is a new approach for the medical center to raise heart health awareness during its celebrated Heart Month.

Medical Inflatables employee Mack Sullivan guides spectators in walk-through tours of the heart chambers, taking general cardiology questions.

“Instead of looking at a 2-D picture in a book, it’s much more informative to be able to go through the pathways of the heart and look at the blood flows, the anatomy and see what each part does,” he said.

Sullivan said he gets several questions from people who have undergone heart procedures.

“They hear it described briefly before and after their surgeries, but they can’t actually see what’s going on,” he said.

When faced with these questions, he tries to guide people through the heart display to directly show how the procedures were performed.

But when he does not know the answer, he will sometimes have direct access to KDMC cardiologists.

Doctors will visit the display to share information related to heart problems.

Cardiothoracic surgeon Eric Bronstein, M.D., spoke about the latest advancements in heart surgery on Friday.

Today, cardiac nurse practitioner, Suzanne Gilmore, APRN, will give information about atrial fibrillation, the most common type of rhythm disturbance in the heart where the beat is either too fast or otherwise abnormal. She will be at the area at 2 p.m.

The Mega Heart is open for all ages. Sullivan said children tend to particularly enjoy exploring the inflatable.

“Sometimes I have to keep an eye on them while I’m giving a tour. They run up to it and take their shoes off thinking it’s a bounce house and are disappointed when they get inside and see it’s educational,” he said. “That’s when they try to purposefully fall or bump into the walls to make it bounce.”

He said adults who have a history of heart problems or surgeries, but have little medical knowledge about their issues, tend to enjoy the display the most.

Sullivan said the nice break in the weather Friday helped boost attendance.

To accompany the display are informational booths with KDMC employees ready to take questions.

KDMC’s Rachel Stanton said it is important to continue venturing down new paths in raising awareness for Heart Month because risks for heart disease are heightened in the Tri-State area.

“Heart disease is such a strong risk factor, especially in this area, so we want to help make everyone aware of the risk factors and services we have available to them,” she said.

Along with informational flyers about upcoming screenings, the booth also provides heart disease literature and health tips.

The display is open and free to all ages. Final tours will be given today from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

LANA BELLAMY can be reached at lbellamy@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2653.

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