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Specialties - Cardiology 25 December 2017

The Cardiac Catheter suites use x-rays to produce images of the coronary arteries that supply oxygenated blood to the heart muscle. These images are used to help diagnose patients suffering from chest pain, angina and breathlessness.

Depending on the results of this test patients may receive either no further treatment, medical treatment (tablets), coronary intervention (stents) or be referred for surgical treatment (by-pass). They are also used for the insertion of pacemakers or internal defibrillators.

We have 4 Cardiac Catheter Labs within the trust, one on both the Solihull and Good Hope sites and two on the BHH site. The unit at Solihull carries out approximately 1300 diagnostic angiogram cases per year with a similar number being carried out at Good Hope. Both these units also undertake temporary and permanent pacemaker insertions.

The 2 labs on the BHH site are primarily used for coronary intervention (PCI), this year they have completed over 1700 cases with well over a 1000 of them involving the treatment of blocked or narrowed arteries with stents. The main bi-planar (2 camera) lab also provides a 24/7 Primary Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PPCI) service. This allows us to treat patients in the very early stages of a heart attack and open the blocked coronary artery before there has been a chance for permanent damage to the heart muscle to have been caused.

Coronary Intervention Before Coronary Intervention After