It’s Here. For Real. New Cath Lab at North a Reality

Dr. David Rosenbaum, right, talks to Drs. Russell Linsky, a cardiologist and Dr. Richard Vu, who practices internal medicine in Colorado Springs.

Dr. David Rosenbaum, right, talks to Drs. Russell Linsky, a cardiologist and Dr. Richard Vu, who practices internal medicine in Colorado Springs.

UCHealth celebrated the opening of a new cardiac catheterization lab at Memorial Hospital North during an Open House on Tuesday that showcased one of many investments by UCHealth to advance patient care in northern Colorado Springs.

The lab, which opened Aug. 17, provides patients with quick access to life-saving, expert care in cardiac emergencies. More than 30 patients have already had procedures in the new lab, and life-saving interventions have been provided for two emergent heart attack patients.

“The ability to provide rapid cardiac catheterization for a person experiencing a heart attack is at the core of advanced cardiac care,” said Dr. David Steinbruner, an emergency medicine physician. “Having a cath lab at Memorial North will dramatically decrease the amount of time it takes to get our patients definitive cardiac care in the northern Colorado Springs and El Paso County region.

The cath lab is among numerous advances in care for people living in northern Colorado Springs. A new radiation oncology building is under construction on the grounds of Memorial Hospital North, and access to cardiac, oncology, orthopedic, rehabilitative and primary care has greatly improved.

During Tuesday’s Open House for the EMS community, Memorial provided paramedics and EMTs from area fire stations with a free meal and a tour of the new cath lab.

“We want to make sure that EMS understands that we really are open, and we really do have a cath lab up north,’’ said Tamera Dunseth, director, Cardiovascular Services, Neurosciences and Critical Care. “We have all the capabilities at Memorial Hospital North that we do at Memorial Central with the exception of cardiothoracic surgery, and we have a very sophisticated plan in place if we have to transfer someone for surgery.’’

Dr. Russell Linsky, a cardiologist for Memorial, said the lab is a “cutting-edge diagnostic and interventional cardiac catheterization lab’’ that provides not only emergency intervention, but diagnostic services, pacemaker insertions and peripheral vascular procedures to unblock veins and arteries in a patient’s arms and legs.

“We’ve expanded our ability to access the patients. The key to this is that in a heart attack, time is muscle. If you’re having a heart attack, the faster you go into a capable facility, the better you’re going to do,’’ Linsky said. “So we are giving another option to patients who live in this part of the community. If they’re having an emergency they are going to ultimately have better results by being able to get here more quickly.’’

During Tuesday’s celebration, there was a sense of pride and accomplishment.

“It’s been something that we’ve been talking about for five years-plus, so I have to tell you, even when we started the construction process and started looking at blueprints and doing drawings with architects, I think all of us were still skeptical that it was going to happen. Even when we were in the framing stage, and looking at wires and drywall, we thought ‘Is this really going to happen?’

“Once the camera arrived, we thought, ‘Wow, this is happening. We are super excited, and it feels like we’ve turned the corner.’’

 

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