A roughly three-month remodeling project in the Castle Rock Adventist Hospital's “Cath Lab” wrapped up this month, boasting equipment upgrades that promise patients, like those at risk of heart …
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A roughly three-month remodeling project in the Castle Rock Adventist Hospital's “Cath Lab” wrapped up this month, boasting equipment upgrades that promise patients, like those at risk of heart attacks, a better chance at recovery and survival.
The Cardiac Catheterization (Cath) and Interventional Radiology (IR) Lab was outfitted with new imaging technology that allows physicians to better see a patient's arteries, veins and heart, hospital officials said.
Some patients treated in the lab might be sent home that day while others are immediately transferred to nearby hospitals for open heart surgery. Either way, the new technology helps physicians get a clearer image of a patient's condition and work more precisely as they make that determination, said Chief Nursing Officer Maureen Dzialo.
The Cath and IR Lab, as it's called for short, is where physicians use catheters and wires to examine a patient's arteries and heart for blockages. Patients might have conditions like a pending heart attack or vascular disease.
The lab's new machinery functions like a live-action x-ray, using radiology to scan frequent images that appear on a screen like video as physicians work on a patient.
“TVs 10 years ago were grainy and didn't have a lot of definition. That is similar to the table that we had,” Dzialo said. “You could see what you needed to see but it didn't have the detail for some of the more complex cases.”
Director Lesley Zimkas, who oversees the Cath Lab among other departments, said the higher-quality machines also improves imaging on patients with larger body mass, or those who are overweight — something hospitals are seeing more frequently across the nation, she said.
“It just has more of the fine detail in order to see all of the aspects of the heart,” Zimkas said.
The project cost approximately $2 million and is being partially funded through the hospital's foundation, which has raised $400,000 to date and plans to raise an additional $100,000 toward the remodel.
Hospital spokesman Rob Mansheim said the remainder of project funds came from Centura Health's capital funding. He said as a nonprofit, “we are only allowed a certain amount that we are able to invest back into ourselves. So by asking the foundation to help, we are able to use money on other projects, not just the Cath Lab.”
Dzialo said some people don't believe a hospital of Castle Rock's size is large enough to justify the cost of the lab. Hospitals don't typically instate a Cath and IR Lab until they reach roughly 150 beds, near triple the size of Castle Rock's 55-bed facility, although the hospital plans to add more beds by the end of 2020.
Dzialo and Zimkas said the next nearest labs are in Lone Tree and Colorado Springs, meaning Castle Rock's hospital provides a lab 20 to 30 minutes closer for some individuals living in southern Douglas County.
“That's why it's important to have us here as well,” Zimkas said.
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