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Providence Holy Cross Adds Second Cardiac Catheterization Lab


 
In order to save lives by reducing the time between the moment a person suffers a heart attack and the moment he/she receives interventional treatment, Providence Holy Cross Medical Center has added a second cardiac catheterization laboratory.

The faster a heart attack patient can receive percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) - normally through angioplasty and the placement of a stent -- to open his/her occluded artery, the more likely the patient will survive the heart attack, also known as an acute myocardial infarction (AMI), said Ara Tilkian, M.D., Medical Director of Cardiology Services at Providence Holy Cross Medical Center.  With this in mind, the medical center opened a second cardiac catheterization laboratory to permit immediate PCI intervention for heart attack patients.
 
"This new cath lab is vital to saving the lives of heart attack victims here in the North San Fernando and Santa Clarita Valleys," Tilkian said.  "We've had excellent results in providing interventional treatment quickly to heart attack victims who are brought to our emergency department, and now this process will be even faster."
 
Providence Holy Cross Medical Center's second catheterization laboratory will be a major benefit to residents of the San Fernando and Santa Clarita Valleys as it will accommodate an increased demand for cardiac interventional procedures. Before the opening of the second cath lab, scheduled procedures in the first cath lab often had to be delayed if a heart attack patient was brought in through the emergency department.
 
During the last 12 months, approximately 1,700 diagnostic and interventional procedures have been performed in the cath lab at Providence Holy Cross Medical Center.  Many of the patients undergoing these procedures were transferred from other local hospitals that do not have cardiac cath labs. 
 
Approximately 25 percent of all cardiac patients at Providence Holy Cross are Santa Clarita Valley residents. 
 
The new $1.8 million catheterization laboratory includes digital flat panel imaging display screens that provide a clearer picture for interventional cardiologists as they perform angioplasty and other procedures to open arteries.  The lab also is equipped with a digital picture archiving communication system (PACS) that allows images of the procedure to be viewed by the patient's primary care physician or cardiologist right in the doctor's office.
 
While the original cath lab was dedicated to cardiac procedures, the second cath lab is designed to perform special procedures, including peripheral vascular interventions as well as the implantation of pacemakers and cardiac defibrillators.