Volume 12 - Issue 6 - June, 2004

Distal Embolic Protection:A routine part of interventional procedures in the near futureCath Lab Digest talks with Donald S.

Why do you think that distal embolic protection has only relatively recently become a topic of interest in invasive cardiology?

In 1977, before Gruentzig did his first catheter-based angioplasties during bypass surgery, he evaluated for arterial debris by collecting the effluent from an artery dilated during surgery, and looking for embolic particles (none were seen). Clinically, when you look at the literature up through the mid-1990s, the only reports of embolization are in patients with thrombotic lesions, where a chunk of clot breaks off, embolizes and blocks a distal large bran

At the Heart: Cath Lab Planning Adapts to New Technology and Improved Diagnoses

Smaller, sleeker technologies in conjunction with increasingly sophisticated medical procedures have changed the face of cardiac catheterization labs.

Changing Spaces

In the above floor plans, which represent a health care provider both in the mid-1990’s and today, we can compare and contrast the way in which cardiac cath labs have changed over the past 10 years. While lab configuration has not changed radically, subtle differences in design can allow a lab to operate more efficiently.

Central to the design of modern cath labs is the shrinking of electronic e

Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center

What is the size of your cath lab facility and number of staff members?

We have five suites with a total of 44 staff members, including technical and nursing staff, support personnel, and students. We only have two credentials in our lab: ARRT-registered radiologic technologist and registered nurse. We have staff members with varied years of experience, ranging from 2 to 30.

What type of procedures are performed at your facility?

We perform diagnostic right and left heart catheterizations, percutaneous coronary interventions, pediatric diagnostic catheterizations, pedi

Transvenous Annuloplasty for Ischemic Mitral Regurgitation

What is transvenous annuloplasty?

Transvenous annuloplasty, conceptually, is an alternative to conventional surgical annuloplasty. Currently, it is only an early development stage activity at multiple companies and centers; no products of this type have been permanently implanted in human subjects. Various approaches are being explored by Viacor and other investigators and companies. The objective is to substitute a percutaneous procedure for a surgical, bypass procedure in appropriate patients. The primary target for our device is ischemic mitral regurgitation.

Our device, the

Welcome to the team

It is two o’clock in the morning when your pager goes off. The sound of this obnoxious device awakens you from warmth of your bed. You fight the darkness, trying to put your thoughts together to partake in the normally simple task of dialing the phone. The hospital operator informs you that there is an acute MI in the ER that the cardiologist wants to cath emergently. As your heart races from the adrenaline that starts circulating and from being suddenly awakened, you manage to get dressed, get into your car, and drive yourself to the hospital within 30 minutes. As you enter the cath la

Cardiovascular Technology Student Passes a Big Test

Michael Savage is a first-year student in the Cardiovascular Technology Program at Grossmont College in El Cajon, California. On October 17, 2003, one day after his 54th birthday, he was at home alone studying for an exam. The exam was to cover the anatomy and physiology of the coronary arteries and the signs and symptoms of myocardial infarction.

At approximately 5:00 pm, Michael experienced a sudden onset of pain that was localized to his left shoulder. The pain was very sharp in nature and slowly increased in severity. Mike was thinking, I can’t be having a heart attack wh

Readers comment on the May Cath Lab Digest Email Discussion Group Question:


There is some controversy over the role(s) available in the cath lab for different credentials and just to what extent they can and should be cross-trained. What do you feel are the proper role(s) or responsibilities for RNs, RCISs, and RT(R)s in the cath lab? What about other credentials like physician assistants (PAs)?

CVT Program is valuable

I am currently in school for a CVT program and I think what has been taught through the school is more beneficial than being trained on the job. With the CVT program, you learn about diagnosing and more preventio