View From The Cath Lab
One of the reasons I am passionate about what I do is that I will enable myself, my loved ones and many of you, my friends, to stay out of “The Cath Lab”.
Let me explain…
The Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory is succinctly referred to as “The Cath Lab”. This is the room or department in hospitals in which diagnostic and interventional procedures are performed. This room is much like an operating room although the procedures are specific to the heart and blood vessels.
Procedures such as:
Coronary (Heart) or Peripheral (meaning blood vessels/arteries further out from the heart – such as renal or kidney arteries, femoral or upper leg arteries) Angiography or Angiogram Coronary or Peripheral Stent Placement and Balloon Angioplasty Pacemaker and Defibrillator Implantation to name a few.
Much of my career has been spent in and around The Cath Labs of various hospitals where I have had privileges in the Dallas/Fort Worth and East Texas area. These are wonderful places where many lives have been saved with highly trained staff, intricate procedures, and ever-evolving highly technical equipment and tools. We will always need The Cath Lab. I thank God for these Cath Labs and all involved in the functioning of them – especially now that we know lives are being saved when individuals get promptly to The Cath Lab when a heart attack is occurring. If you are having a heart attack, clot dissolving medications and procedures in The Cath Lab are exactly what you need – and quickly! I have nothing but the greatest respect for those that staff The Ambulances, Emergency Departments, ICU’s and Cath Labs where all must work as an efficient team to get the heart attack victim from home (or the site of onset of symptoms) to The Cath Lab with lightening-fast speed – while calmly providing individualized life-saving support every step of the way.
What a massive orchestration! And, this takes place all across America and other parts of the world everyday.
But, as you know my goal is to reduce the need for these procedures. I want the volume of every Cath Lab to go down. This is not idealistic thinking. We now have the knowledge, tests, and treatments to markedly reduce the incidence of ischemic (due to inflamed atherolsclerosis) heart attack and stroke.
Please look for my thoughts in upcoming issues of View From The Cath Lab to learn more.
Feel Better, Live Longer, Stay Out of The Cath Lab!