Dr. William K. Averill, Cardiologist
Dr. William K. Averill, a cardiologist at Torrance Memorial Medical Center, chose to focus on heart health because it melds two seemingly diverse areas of medicine.
"I find cardiology to be a wonderful combination of technology and bedside care," says Averill.
And a great place to bring these worlds together is a Torrance Memorial. Dr. Averill notes that TMMC is both an early adopter of new medical technologies and a place that constantly strives to provide the best personal care.
A native of the Torrance area, Dr. Averill came back to practice in 1991 after finishing training nearby at UCLA School of Medicine and Los Angeles County/University of Southern California. In addition to his general cardiology practice, Dr. Averill has a subspecialty in interventional cardiology, which involves diagnosing and treating coronary artery disease with angioplasty and stenting procedures.
He is also involved in Torrance Memorial's CODE ICE program, which uses therapeutic hypothermia to treat patients with cardiac arrest. During this treatment, a patient's body temperature is brought down to around 91 F for about 24 hours. A relatively new type of therapy, CODE ICE helps reduce brain damage and gives patients a better chance of cerebral and cardiac recovery.
With capabilities ranging from three-dimensional echocardiograms and a teaching program on coronary occlusion, it is no surprise that Torrance Memorial Medical Center has garnered accolades from outside institutions. Dr. Averill notes that the hospital has a Gold Status from the American Heart Association for their heart failure program. This status is granted to hospitals meeting high standards for heart failure care and adherence to medication and testing criteria. The American College of Cardiology also gave Torrance Memorial Medical Center a Gold Performance Achievement in heart attack care.
As Past Medical President of the American Heart Association L.A. County Division, Dr. Averill knows a thing or two about how to maintain a healthy heart. A primary factor is staying active, as aerobic activity improves circulation and controls blood pressure. In addition to regular exercise, maintaining a healthy diet—one that is low in salt, saturated fat and cholesterol—is critical, says Dr. Averill. "And of course, not smoking," he notes.
For those that already have elevated blood pressure and cholesterol, keeping these risk factors in check with medication can prevent the progression to cardiac problems. Dr. Averill stresses the ABCs—A for aspirin, which reduces the risk of a heart attack; B for beta blockers, used to decrease the risk of coronary events; and C for cholesterol-lowering medications, which help keep plaque from building up and clogging arteries. Then back to A for ACE inhibitors, which further help to protect the heart.