Heart Month Profile: Cardiac Catheterization Lab
by Marcello Bernardo
The Cardiac Catheterization Lab or “Cath Lab” is a specialized unit that contains two separate catheterization rooms, and it provides several services for patients with a variety of heart conditions and events. These include heart tests such as angiograms used to diagnose heart problems, and treatments like angioplasty that opens up arteries during a heart attack – or to prevent one from happening in the first place. The Cath Lab is a regional unit with a team of cardiologists, nurses, radiation technologists and other cardiac professionals, providing 24/7 emergency care right here in Thunder Bay.
Last year, our Cath Lab performed 2,168 cardiac catheterizations and 1,001 angioplasty procedures. The Cath Lab team also works closely with our Pacemaker Clinic, where over 194 pacemaker insertions and pacemaker-related procedures were performed in 2020 alone.
The highly-trained nurses, physicians and technologists in the Cath Lab work tirelessly to care for the hearts of patients in our region and do so while wearing lead aprons. These lead aprons weigh approximately 10 pounds (4.5 kilograms) and are used to protect the staff from the repetitive X-Ray exposure required to see pictures of the heart during procedures.
Thank you to our Cath Lab team for helping us recognize Heart Month and for working tirelessly to provide care for our community and region.