Heart & Vascular Lab
Three days in the hospital. Two stents. 99 percent blockage in the main artery. David had a heart attack. Read more
Fax: (509) 576-8519
Virginia Mason Memorial’s cardiac catheterization lab performs diagnostic and treatment services, enabling hospital staff to treat most patients who may have suffered a heart attack.
When patients experience shortness of breath, chest pain or other symptoms of a heart attack, and they visit the emergency department, their physician may request an EKG, a heart monitor that detects an irregular heartbeat, among other things. These results will allow physicians to determine if the patient requires advanced tests, including a heart catheterization in which contrast material is injected to view coronary (heart) and peripheral (outside the heart) arteries.
Currently, our cardiologists and cardiac staff treat emergency patients in the midst of a heart attack, as well as short-stay patients coming in for scheduled diagnostic or therapeutic procedures. These include:
- Angioplasty. This is the most significant procedure in saving the lives of those having a heart attack. By using balloon-tipped catheters inserted through the groin, cardiologists can open arterial blockages, allowing blood to flow freely to the heart.
- Stent. Following an angioplasty, the cardiologist may insert a small mesh-like tube called a stent into the vessel that was blocked, dramatically reducing the chance of another blockage in that area.
- Angiogram. Using catheters, cardiologists can determine, with the aid of imaging fluids and x-ray technology, where a blockage may be located. This diagnostic study is considered the gold standard for identifying blockages to the heart.
- Pacemakers and defibrillators. These devices, which help keep the heart beating at the right pace and rhythm, are implanted in our electrophysiology or peripheral lab.
For patients who receive a heart catheterization as part of a diagnostic study, physicians will review the findings and discuss the best plan for treatment, which will either be done at the time or at a later appointment. Patients who have been scheduled for heart catheterization should check in through admitting. All tests are performed as a result of physician referral.
Virginia Mason Memorial's catheterization lab includes these services:
- Five patient/observation rooms equipped with cardiac monitoring system.
- X-ray machines producing crystal clear internal images, aiding in diagnosis and treatment.
- Delivery device system used to inject contrast into arteries to locate blockage.
- Two fully equipped catheterization lab with up-to-the minute technology.