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Heart Institute Creates Comprehensive Cardiogenic Shock Program

Cs patient

Cardiogenic shock is the leading cause of death after a severe heart attack. It is a life-threatening condition in which your heart is suddenly unable to pump as much blood as your body needs. The Stony Brook Heart Institute has created a state-of-the-art comprehensive Cardiogenic Shock Program, which on a moment’s notice brings together a multidisciplinary team of experts in advanced cardiac care including critical care, heart failure, interventional cardiology and cardiac surgery to care for these critically sick patients.

Cs patient
Linda Jerome was successfully treated at Stony Brook Heart Institute for cardiogenic shock (CS) by Dr. Chen and the CS team. Credit: Photo by Jeanne Neville/Stony Brook Medicine

“Having a multidisciplinary team of advanced heart specialists involved in every phase of a cardiogenic shock patient’s care means we are able to identify and implement the most appropriate treatment in the shortest amount of time,” said cardiologist On Chen, MD, Stony Brook University Hospital’s director of the Cardiogenic Shock Program and also director of the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit. “By pooling our expertise, we are improving the outcomes for some of our sickest patients with early recognition and advanced treatment.”

“While a severe heart attack is the most frequent cause of cardiogenic shock, heart failure, heart valve disorder, heart rhythm disturbance, infection, blood clots in the lungs and complications from surgery are among other causes of cardiogenic shock,” noted Marc Goldschmidt, MD, director of the Heart Failure and Cardiomyopathy Center at Stony Brook Medicine. 

The Stony Brook Cardiogenic Shock Program is one of only a few such programs available nationwide. “If a provider thinks a patient may have developed cardiogenic shock, Stony Brook’s Cardiogenic Shock Team quickly and collaboratively responds to provide urgent recommendations and facilitate transfers from hospitals throughout the region for patients who need the expertise and resources that are uniquely available at Stony Brook,” added Edlira Tam, DO and co-director of the Cardiogenic Shock Program and also co-director of the Ventricular Assist Device Program.

The Stony Brook Cardiogenic Shock Program is one of only a few such programs available nationwide.

“Patients presenting with heart attacks complicated by shock have the highest mortality rates. Immediate care employing state-of-the-art strategies optimizes the chances for meaningful survival,” noted Robert Pyo, MD, director of Interventional Cardiology. “Treatment includes medical therapy for initial stabilization, then appropriate triage for advanced therapy that includes stent procedures to optimally restore circulation and use of mechanical heart pumps for sustained stability and recovery.”

When every minute counts, leading-edge protocols and technology in the hands of Stony Brook’s expert cardiogenic shock team facilitate state-of-the-art critical lifesaving care. “We have 24/7 access to surgical procedures, including coronary artery bypass surgery, surgery to repair an injury to the heart valves and the aorta, and ventricular assist device support,” said Henry Tannous, MD, General T.F Cheng chair, Cardiothoracic Surgery, Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University and co-director, Heart Institute.

“When patients are so sick that they need complete support of the circulatory system, early escalation and placement on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) is an option,” said Allison McLarty, MD, director of the ECMO Program and surgical director of the VAD Program at the Heart Institute. “We have a team of highly trained cardiac specialists at the ready, day and night, for those situations.”

“Stony Brook leads the region in survival outcomes for patients with heart attacks and heart failure, evidence of our clinical abilities and our desire to explore new approaches and improve the care of cardiac patients throughout Long Island. Partnering with the New York Cardiogenic Shock Registry, establishing novel rapid-response diagnostic and treatment protocols, and providing our data to be analyzed for optimal clinical outcomes are the hallmark of the cutting-edge hospitals participating in the registry,” concluded Hal Skopicki, MD, PhD, Ambassador Charles A. Gargano chair, Cardiology, Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University and co-director of the Stony Brook Heart Institute.

For more information about the Stony Brook Heart Institute, visit

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