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KDMC Opens One-of-a-Kind Cardiac Cath Lab

King’s Daughters Medical Center on Tuesday, May 27, opened a new cardiac catheterization lab that is the first of its kind in the nation. The lab features equipment and software with enhanced capabilities from Philips Medical Systems. The lab can accommodate interventions for the heart and peripheral arteries, whereas most labs are dedicated to one or the other, but not both. KDMC now has a total of 10 cath labs, and on Tuesday reached a new volume record by completing 106 procedures in a single day.

“This new cath lab is top of the line and increases our versatility to perform more complex coronary and vascular procedures,” said cardiologist Richard Paulus, M.D., medical director of the KDMC Heart and Vascular Center. “As we keep adding heart and vascular specialists to our medical staff, we continue to expand the number and variety of procedures that are done in the coronary and vascular laboratories.” Dr. Paulus said more than 15,600 cath procedures were performed last year in the cath and vascular labs, and King’s Daughters last year completed a total of 140,000 heart and vascular procedures and surgeries.

Dr. Paulus said the flat screen monitors in the new lab have the highest resolution on the market, allowing physicians to better identify subtleties and variations in the blood vessels, while also using less contrast dye and smaller doses of radiation on the patient. “The new options in this lab improve patient safety and comfort, and enhance our ability to perform increasingly sophisticated procedures,” he said.

Another benefit of the new lab is a table designed to accommodate patients weighing up to 550 lbs. Previously, cath lab tables made by the Philips company could only handle weights up to 495 lbs. The table also has expanded positional capabilities for tilting and cradling the patient, enabling physicians to achieve better access and imaging of the treatment site.

Nancy C. Adkins of Portsmouth, Ohio, was the first patient to be treated in the new laboratory. The 69 year-old retired nurse underwent balloon angioplasty and stenting the morning of Tuesday, May 27, after Dr. Paulus found a blockage in one of her main coronary arteries.

Mrs. Adkins said she had been mowing her yard when her legs became so weak she could hardly continue. She willed herself to finish the lawn, then started experiencing other symptoms. “My heart was palpitating, and I was short of breath,” she said. “I felt a strange sensation in my upper chest, though it wasn’t a sharp pain. I knew something was wrong, but didn’t think it was my heart.”

The next day she and Daniel, her husband of 52 years, drove to a nearby emergency room and her family physician, John Gilbert, D.O., was called. He and the emergency medicine physician made arrangements to transfer Mrs. Adkins to King’s Daughters Medical Center, where Dr. Paulus opened the blocked artery.

Mrs. Adkins had a good outcome and was discharged the next morning, Wednesday, May 28.

“I’m glad it’s over and thankful for how well I feel,” she said. “As a nurse who worked in an emergency room, I have treated many patients who were having heart attacks. Yet, I had a hard time realizing it was happening to me. I now can say first-hand it’s true that women often experience very different symptoms than classic chest pain.

“It was an honor to be the first patient treated in the new lab,” she continued. “It is so updated, first-class all the way. The staff was upbeat and proud as punch. They explained everything to me, and I felt very secure.”

Philips Medical Systems is a global leader in diagnostic imaging systems, healthcare information technology solutions, and patient monitoring and cardiac devices. More information can be found at www.healthcare.philips.com/us.

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