New cardiac catheterization lab provides less radiation and procedure time

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SCOTTSBLUFF, Neb. The Regional West Medical Center’s Cardiac Catheterization lab received new state-of-the-art equipment to help with operations involving hearts.

With this new technology, they can evaluate and confirm the presence of the heart, valve and aortic disease.

They can also evaluate heart muscle function and determine the need to further treatment.

The lab itself is used for procedures involving pacemakers, internal defibrillators and loop recorders.

It offers better image quality.

They can now work on right heart catheterizations which are needed for pulmonary hypertension.

With the old equipment, the numbers were not always accurate.

The staff at Regional West says the equipment helps in a huge way.

“The procedure times are shorter,” said Humayun Iftikhar, MD, Cardiologist. “We are able to use less radiation and less contrast. It is very important to people who have renal failure.”

When it comes to working with radiation, the staff says less is better for everyone.

“They are exposed to less radiation,” said Iftikhar. “Our staff is also exposed to less radiation because we are able to complete the procedure in less time.”

At this moment, they complete between 200 to 250 procedures a year.
The number is looking to increase in the near future.

With the patients, they do not have to do much to prepare.

“We have our preoperative checklist that we go through with them,” said John Vidlak, RT(AART), Cardiovascular Technologist. “Basically, as long as they haven’t eaten, we can do this.”

The staff wants to give patients an opportunity to get their operations local instead of having to travel far distances.

“We want to do everything that we can to keep them local and make it to where they don’t have to travel if they don’t have to,” explained Vidlak.

The foundation hosted a capital campaign a few years ago with the attempt to raise five million dollars to fund this project alongside three others.

They said they could have not pulled this off without support from the community.

“To be able to say that as a community, we supported this advancement in technology and medical care right here in our own hospital, I think that is something important for us,” explained John Massey, Chairman of Board. “We can take ownership in that.”

The staff can now spend less time moving around the room and more time focusing on the patient.