SRMH’s Heart and Vascular Institute officially opens second new Cath Lab

On Wednesday, March 1, Providence Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital opened its second state-of-the-art catheterization (cath) lab, expanding and enhancing our ability to provide the best cardiovascular and vascular care, close to home. Memorial opened its first rebuilt cath lab just 10 months ago. We continue to make progress toward upgrading a third cath lab, which is expected to be completed in 2024.   

The renovation of the cath labs was made possible by the generosity of over 452 community members, including key contributions from Norma Person in memory of Evert Person, Ron and Eileen Nelson in memory of Brent Nelson, The Estate of Gary E. Rasche, and Don and Sally Risberg.

The new cath lab is currently treating approximately five patients a day. According to Wendy Dunnagan, director of nursing for cardiovascular services, having two new upgraded cath labs available means we can accommodate multiple pressing cases at once.   

“The opening of this addition room gives us the flexibility to care for complex cases and emergencies at the same time,” said Wendy. “In addition, having two rooms with advanced imaging technology allows us to take on more complex cases [simultaneously] and perform them more efficiently with less radiation exposure.”  

All caregivers have been thoroughly trained on the new equipment and around-the-clock on-site support is available from the manufacturer as well. When care teams aren’t treating emergencies or trauma patients in these special rooms, they are performing minimally invasive procedures to diagnose and treat cardiac and vascular conditions. By making tiny punctures through the skin into blood vessels and inserting flexible tubes (called catheters) to access the heart and vessels throughout the body, patients can avoid more invasive heart surgery. Procedures that take place in our cath labs include the insertion of stents, pacemakers, TAVRs (transcatheter aortic valve replacement), mitral clips, TMVRs (transcatheter mitral valve replacement), and feeding tubes. They also perform embolizations, fistulagrams and many more procedures. Dialysis and oncology patients are also treated in these rooms.   

“The opening of this additional cath lab reflects our continued commitment to provide the highest standard of care for our community members,” said Chuck Kassis, Memorial’s chief executive. “I am incredibly grateful to all the caregivers and donors who made this possible.”