Saving the “Heart” of Cardiac Care
Published Tuesday, January 31, 2023
It’s equipment so vital to cardiac care that it’s been called the “heart” of the Cardiovascular Sciences Program. And now it needs replacing.
A Cath Lab Suite is a system of precision X-ray imaging equipment. The system includes the C-arm along with a viewing console and control panel to rotate and position the C-arm. This versatile suite helps with many cardiac diagnostic and treatment procedures including 1,100 angioplasties, 2,500 angiograms, and 250 pacemaker insertions every year.
Today, one of the two Cath Lab Suites is ageing, and breakdowns are becoming more frequent leading to delays. Soon, parts may not be available to fix it. Without that Cath Lab Suite, the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre would have to send patients to southern Ontario or elsewhere for many life-saving services.
When time is heart muscle, that is simply unacceptable said Dr. Andrea MacDougall, an interventional cardiologist and Medical Program Director of the Cardiovascular Sciences Program at our Hospital. Every minute of delay in care can have an impact on patient health. That’s why closer-to-home cardiac care is so important in Northwestern Ontario.
“We need to replace the Cath Lab Suite soon so that we can continue to provide 24/7 care for heart attack patients from Thunder Bay and across the region,” Dr. MacDougall said.
She added that the new suite wouldn’t be a simple “replacement.” The upgraded unit will take better images of the heart faster, new software will make those images even sharper, and lower doses of radiation for the X-rays will make every procedure safer for our patients. Plus, the new unit will have advanced features for more complex procedures including cardiac surgery.
“Not only does having Cath Lab Suites in Thunder Bay save lives, it saves heart muscle too,” Dr. MacDougall said. “For example, if the patient has a blockage, the faster we can treat the blockage with angioplasty, the less heart muscle will be damaged. Treating patients here instead of flying them to Toronto means they will recover faster and have a better chance at full recovery.”
The replacement Cath Lab will be funded in part by the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Foundation’s Thunder Bay 50/50 Draw. This means everyone who has bought a ticket in the past year has been helping bring this remarkable equipment to patients in Northwestern Ontario – as will everyone who buys tickets this year!
Learn more about Thunder Bay 50/50, buy tickets, and see what this month’s jackpot is up to right now at: thunderbay5050.ca
The replacement Cath Lab Suite will be much like this one with equipment that will take better images of the heart faster, new software will make those images even sharper, and lower doses of radiation for the X-rays making every procedure safer for our patients. On average, this suite will help with 1,100 angioplasties, 2,500 angiograms, and 250 pacemaker insertions every year.