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First Patient In New Cardiac Catheterisation Laboratories

First Patient Welcomed to New Cardiac Catheterisation Laboratories

After officially opening four new state-of the-art cardiac catheterisation laboratories on Friday (2 August), Waikato Hospital has welcomed the first patient through for surgery.

Seventy-one-year-old Ruth Langstone was wheeled into one of the cardiac catheterisation laboratories yesterday (Monday 5 August) to have a pacemaker inserted to regulate her heartbeat.

Equipped with the most modern cardiology equipment in Australasia, the new cardiac catheterisation laboratories have the capacity to carry out not only minimally invasive surgeries, as in Mrs Langstone’s case, but much more sophisticated surgeries also.

Two of the laboratories are for general procedures, one for electrophysiology procedures and one for advanced endovascular procedures.

The advanced endovascular procedure laboratory will allow for complex interventional procedures to be undertaken. Such surgeries will involve speciality teams such as neurosurgery, cardiac, vascular and cardiology.

And it has been no small investment, with $4.3m spent on construction and another $2m on equipment.

“Thirty years ago Waikato was a cardiological backwater. Today we lead the country and parts of Australia in aspects of cardiology,” clinical unit for internal medicine Dr Clyde Wade said at the opening last week.

“This didn’t happen by accident. The standout feature for me is teamwork. The cardiac catheterisation laboratories can’t function without the wider department. We have the nursing staff, echocardiographers, technicians, physiologists, radiologists, typists, receptionists, health care assistants, orderlies and more,” he said.

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“The other hospital departments also help us and work with us – so this is a whole-of-hospital achievement - not just one for the cardiology department.”

Dr Wade said the opening of these laboratories is the next step in a journey that started 45 years ago when Dr Denis Friedlander started the first cardiac catheterisation laboratory at Waikato Hospital.

“Amongst many achievements within this time, Waikato Hospital is soon coming up to its 10,000th cardiac surgical operation and its 12,000thangioplasty procedure,” he said.

And if Waikato Hospital staff can help it, all patients will have as much confidence in the service as their first patient through.

“I have been in for heart surgery before and always found it nice here. I am well taken care of by all of the doctors. ” Mrs Langstone said.

The laboratories will service the 800,000 people of the Midland region. They will increase the hospital’s capacity to perform procedures from between 10 and 13 per week to about 20 per week.


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