Newcastle Private Hospital opens cardiac catheterisation laboratory

NEWCASTLE Private Hospital has reached a significant milestone, by conducting the first procedure in its “game changer” laboratory, designed to better care for patients with heart disease.

Senior interventional cardiologist Dr Suku Thambar said it was a “privilege” to perform the first procedure in the hospital’s new state-of-the-art cardiac catheterisation laboratory: an angiogram on a 75 year old woman who had been experiencing chest pain and already suffered a small heart attack.

“We’ll see if she has any blockages and if she does, we’ll put a stent in,” Dr Thambar said. “Every time we get better imaging equipment it improves our processes – we can see things better, plan procedures better and magnify the stents better. It has special software that allows us to better orientate the heart.” Dr Thambar said the equipment also emitted a lower dose of radiation to both patients and staff. Previously, cardiologists conducted procedures in a hybrid theatre. Senior interventional cardiologist Dr Simon Mylabathula said many Sydney hospitals had similar laboratories. “This is a game changer for regional NSW,” he said. “It shows we are just as important as patients in metropolitan Sydney and sets a benchmark for other hospitals to look up to.”

Newcastle Private has also opened its new 16 bed coronary care unit. Previously, coronary care used five of the intensive care unit’s 15 beds.

“There have been times in the past when we can’t get patients in, or there are delays, or they get treated in the public system,” Dr Thambar said. “We’re always fighting for beds so this will help increase our throughput.”