Heart patients to benefit from new technology

Greg O’Neill OAM, La Trobe Financial President and CEO cuts the ribbon to open the La Trobe Financial Cardiac Catheterisation Unit, supported by (L) Cathi Biddick, Deputy Chair Epworth Medical Foundation and (R) Allison Evans, Executive General Manager Epworth Richmond

A high-tech approach to complex cardiac cases is expected to make a difference to the lives of more than 5000 patients at Epworth Richmond in Victoria.

The La Trobe Financial Cardiac Catheterisation Unit opened at Epworth just before Christmas and features three new catheterisation laboratories.

The unit will treat patients requiring heart stents, pacemakers, arrhythmia management, structural heart disease including percutaneous aortic valves, and care for patients with peripheral vascular disease, with the latest technology.

Epworth Richmond Cardiac Institute director, Associate Professor Ron Dick, said Integrated Insight Technology in the unit was a first in Victoria, providing an easier, more precise way of approaching increasingly complex cases.

“We have an ageing population requiring more complex cardiac and vascular procedures,” he said.

“The physiological and intra-arterial imaging available in the new labs drives precision-based patient care, making performing those complex procedures safer and easier.”

Each catheterisation lab has systems that monitor pressure and how blood flows through the heart and vessels.

The diagnostic tools with ultrasound and optical coherence tomography allow evaluation of coronary arteries, and the 2D and 3D imaging techniques will improve diagnosis of disease and other conditions, while reducing the dose of radiation given to patients, making the procedures even safer.

The new imaging also allows cardiologists to make the perfect sized stent to help keep the artery from narrowing or closing again, ensuring sufficient blood flow to the heart.

A Cardiac Diagnostic Unit has also been established, to provide multiple diagnostic services for cardiovascular disease, including exercise stress testing and electrophysiology capabilities to observe heart rhythm and activity.

The unit will provide advanced monitoring, mapping, and diagnostic and interventional equipment to support the range of procedures for routine and emergency cardiac care.

Epworth Richmond executive manager, Allison Evans, said the five million dollar state-of-the-art unit would provide improved patient care, thanks to the generous support of La Trobe Financial.

“La Trobe is a long-standing supporter of Epworth HealthCare,” she said.

“Opening the La Trobe Financial Cardiac Catheterisation Unit just after COVID-19 wouldn’t have been possible this year without their continued commitment to patient care.”

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