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One-stop-shop cardiology centre helps attainment of 2000 heart stents milestone

21 January 2021

A one-stop-shop cardiology centre opened four years ago is delivering on its promise to bring care closer to home for Bay of Plenty heart patients.

One-stop-shop cardiology centre helps attainment of 2000 heart stents milestone
Members of the Cath Lab cardiology team who have helped carry out 1000 PCIs in the last four years.

The dedicated Cardiac Catheterisation Laboratory (Cath Lab) at Tauranga Hospital took its first patient on the afternoon of Monday 16 January 2017. In the four years since the dedicated facility opened, staff there have performed 1000 Percutaneous Coronary Interventions (PCIs). It brings the number of PCIs, more commonly known as stents, performed in total at Tauranga Hospital to 2000.

“The milestone of 2000 PCIs has taken since 2012 to reach. So that’s five years for the first thousand and now four years for the second thousand,” said Cath Lab Clinical Nurse Manager Jason Money. “This increase in PCIs is thanks to the opening of the dedicated facility.

“The improved access for the patients means the second 1000 PCIs were achieved much more quickly. Each year we perform approximately 800 angiograms, 300 PCIs and fit 250 electronic cardiac devices. The increased efficiency helps reduce regional pressures on the tertiary facility, fulfilling our obligation to Midlands regional cooperation.”

The Cath Lab opened four years ago with the intention of providing care closer to home and offering a convenient co-located space for heart patients. It forms part of the Cardiac Services Building 50 development at the hospital. Prior to the 2017 opening, the service had evolved in a shared space within the Radiology Department from coronary angiograms in 1997, to pacemakers in 2008, and on to coronary interventions in 2012. 

“It’s a one-stop shop, with all the services co-located, which is so convenient from the patient’s perspective,” said Jason. “Being focused on cardiac services in one location like this gives us greater opportunities to ensure that the care we provide to our patients is efficient and accessible, with less need for patients to move between departments.”

Angiograms (taking images of the arteries), an interventional cardiology programme (including ballooning and stenting of arteries), implantable devices (e.g. pacemakers and implantable cardioverter defibrillators - ICDs) and other cardiology procedures are all provided at the facility.

The Cardiac Services development in addition to the Cath Lab includes:

  • A pre and post procedure day-stay with seven beds
  • Three echocardiology rooms
  • One echocardiology reporting room
  • Three ECG (Electrocardiogram) rooms
  • Respiratory Laboratory
  • Exercise room
  • Two cardiac implantable device service rooms 

The Cath Lab features state-of-the-art equipment such as a Canon Infinix Cardiac Catheter Lab. It is staffed by six nurses and an HCA assistant who work alongside cardiologists, clinical physiologists and radiographers rotating through.