“It’s fantastic,” says Rob Benton-Smith, Charge Nurse for the cardiac catheter laboratories, “this brings us right up-to-date in terms of the technology now available and we are among the first hospitals in the UK to have the new equipment. Our cardiologists are impressed by the increased clarity of images which is really beneficial for the delicate and highly skilled procedures they carry out.”
Cath Lab 2 was first opened in 2004 and focusses primarily on carrying out life-savings procedures for emergency inpatients and all unplanned acute emergency procedures. The lab will also accommodate some planned patient procedures, although most of these will be done in Cath Lab 1. Currently around 40 emergency patients each month undergo a PCI (the specialist procedure carried out following a heart attack), as well as a number of emergency pacemaker implants. Across the two laboratories more than 230 patients are treated each month.
As well as the new imaging equipment, the cardiac catheter laboratory has undergone a refurbishment and the tight 15 week programme for the £1.8 million project has been carefully managed by RCHT’s estates development team. This has included bringing in a temporary laboratory which was stationed outside the Link Corridor during the works.
Rob added, “With increasing numbers of our population at risk of heart conditions and more focus on early diagnosis and prevention, we know demand for our service will increase rather than decrease in future years. The number of primary PCI procedures has been growing steadily since 2011 and the Trust has seen this upgrade of our lab as an essential investment in supporting the cardiology service into the future.”