Upgrades enable cardiac catheterization laboratory to perform a wider range of procedures
University Hospitals (UH) Harrington Heart & Vascular Institute is now serving patients in its newly upgraded cardiac catheterization laboratory at UH Samaritan Medical Center in Ashland. UH invested in the updates to improve patients’ quality of care and provide a wider range of heart services closer to home.
A cardiac catheterization laboratory, referred to as a “cath lab” for short, is a specialized area in a hospital where doctors perform minimally invasive tests and advanced cardiac procedures to diagnose and treat cardiovascular issues.
UH Samaritan’s cath lab originally opened in 2002. The most recent renovations began in April 2022. The remodeled lab incorporates a Philips Azurion Machine in its x-ray room. This machine enables specialists to perform procedures that they previously could not. Additionally, the location of the Azurion creates a safer environment for staff because technicians are exposed to less radiation while simultaneously taking better pictures of the patient.
The cath lab at UH Samaritan will continue to provide low risk and diagnostic services like cardiac catheterizations, interventions for peripheral artery disease, implantations of a heart monitoring device called a loop recorder, and dialysis catheter placements. Additionally, caregivers can now perform some interventional electrophysiology procedures, like pacemaker insertions and battery changes.
“Providing a wider array of procedures and broadening the type of issues we can treat equates to faster, more comprehensive care, which we believe will save and improve lives,” said Yulanka Castro Dominguez, MD
, cardiologist at UH Harrington Heart & Vascular Institute, who sees patients at UH Samaritan.
The Ohio Department of Health categorizes cath labs into three separate levels and the ultimate goal of these upgrades is to elevate UH Samaritan’s cath lab status from Level I to Level II. A Level II designation would allow the cath lab to operate 24/7 and give physicians the ability to perform more types of procedures, including percutaneous coronary interventions (PCI) -- a family of minimally invasive procedures used to open clogged arteries, in some cases to alleviate a heart attack.
“Being able to perform more cardiac and vascular procedures will be vitally beneficial for the people of this community,” said Sylvia E. Radziszewski, RT, Chief Operating Officer at UH Samaritan. “The Ohio Department of Health gives us a 2-year window to complete criteria and submit for Level II status and that is our objective.”
“At University Hospitals, it is our mission to bring the highest quality care closer to where our patients live, wherever that may be across Northeast Ohio,” said Cyndie Lowry, R.N., BSN, MBA, System Director of Diagnostic and Procedural Services at UH Harrington Heart & Vascular Institute. “We want patients visiting any UH facility to receive the same, superior cardiac care. These changes to the cath lab show UH’s investment into the Ashland community, to provide first-class treatment.”
“We know it takes time, money and creates stress for our patients who have to travel for essential medical care,” said Shashank Jain, MD
, cardiologist at UH Harrington Heart & Vascular Institute, who also sees patients at UH Samaritan. “Now, patients who need certain procedures in Ashland and surrounding communities have one less thing to worry about and they can focus on healing.”
UH Samaritan is currently providing care in the new cath lab. To contact a UH cardiologist at UH Samaritan Medical Center, call 419-289-9800.