South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has opened its fourth cardiac catheter lab providing state of the art facilities for local heart patients.
An examination room fitted with diagnostic imaging equipment to support the catheterisation procedure, the fourth lab at The James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough will help ensure patients are treated more quickly and their hospital stay is reduced.
The new lab is specifically designed for TAVI procedures – transcatheter aortic valve implantation – an advanced procedure in which a team of specially trained consultants replace narrowed heart valves without the need for open-heart surgery. More floor space allows greater flexibility during procedures for the surgical and cardiology teams involved.
Specialist x-ray equipment in the lab has excellent image quality and lower radiation dose saving features benefiting patients and staff. Extra monitors and theatre lighting allow improved visibility for all the medical team. Cameras can also be installed in the lights to record what the surgeon sees during a procedure which can be used for teaching and education purposes in future.
The first patient to use the new facility was Mrs Carole Harris, 69, from Guisborough who had a coronary angiogram on 31 May 2012, she said: “My treatment at James Cook was excellent, I could not fault it.
“I found out I was going to be the first patient to have my angiogram in the new lab when I was waiting on the ward, so it was a bit of a surprise.
“I was a bit nervous and wondering about what was going to happen and what the results would be, but everything was fine and went to plan. All the hospital staff were lovely, top class and they looked after me very well.”
Dr Andrew Sutton, consultant cardiologist, said: “We are delighted with the success of our fourth catheter lab and 300 patients have had procedures carried out in it so far.
“We are continuing to improve and develop our service to ensure patients are benefiting from the latest technology and the trust is at the forefront of developing heart services.”