Cincinnati Children's Opens Hybrid Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory

Facility Allows Catheterization and Surgical Procedures to Occur Simultaneously

Monday, February 12, 2007

Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center recently opened a new cardiac treatment facility that will provide highly sophisticated treatment for infants and children with serious heart defects. The Hybrid Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory at Cincinnati Children's is one of few such facilities at a pediatric hospital in the United States. It allows "all-in-one-room care," including simultaneous catheterization and surgical procedures.

A cardiac catheterization procedure is one in which a catheter, a small hollow tube, is inserted into a vessel in the groin and guided into the heart for diagnostic or therapeutic purposes. The Hybrid Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory will allow for sophisticated diagnostic tests and a full range of invasive therapeutic procedures -- from implantation of stents, pacemakers and internal defibrillators -- and even cardiac surgery, if needed, to be performed in the same laboratory.

This means that, unlike the typical set-up at most hospitals where the patient would have to be moved from one area of the hospital to another if additional procedures were needed, the patient at Cincinnati Children's stays in one place, where all the technology that might be needed is already located and cardiac catheterization specialists and surgeons come to the patient.

The new lab is among the first in the nation to provide real-time communication between the lab and other cardiac specialists throughout the hospital, which can improve the outcome for children who come to the Cincinnati Children's Heart Center, according to Russel Hirsch, MD, director of the lab.

"We can now communicate from the lab directly with colleagues and obtain their opinions in real time in very complex situations," he says. "If physicians decide another procedure is needed, even surgery, the needed medical team can be assembled right there. Not having to move the patient to another location, having to administer anesthesia a second time, or having to wait to schedule a second procedure is all to the benefit of the child's health," said Dr. Hirsch

The hybrid lab is also safer for the smallest and most vulnerable of patients with complex, congenital heart disease. These patients are often at substantial risk when invasive procedures need to be performed, and a hybrid, or combined surgical and catheterization approach, is often safer than either one alone, explained Dr. Hirsch.

The lab will enable better positioning when expandable stents need to be placed in narrowed, pulmonary arteries, in the aorta in small infants, or when devices are used to close holes in the heart. It also will allow for surgical placement of pacemakers and internal cardiac defibrillators.

"This lab provides excellent space and we have state-of-the art equipment, which ensures that we are able to provide the best services to our patients," says Dr. Hirsch. "It will allow us to do what we like doing best -- improving care and keeping our patients as safe as possible."

One Family's Experience

Jean and Bryan Jordan of Burlington, KY, know the life-saving effects of catheterization procedures. When their 1-year-old daughter, Lauren, was born she suffered from a complex congenital heart defect. Lauren underwent two staged procedures in the cath lab, the first to open up a fused pulmonary valve and the second to place an expandable stent in the Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA). Those procedures ensured that sufficient blood would get to her lungs. Previously, these procedures would have required open heart surgery.

"Lauren had to have a stent put in her PDA during a cath procedure in February 2006. Then she underwent a cath procedure to remove it in December of 2006," said Jean Jordan. Although her daughter's catheterization procedures went smoothly and no surgery was needed, Jean, can definitely understand why the new cath lab is going to help the patients who will need more complex treatment than her daughter. "If something more complex were detected about Lauren's condition, it would have provided me with peace of mind knowing that everyone would have been right there to handle her care," said Jordan.

For more information about the Cincinnati Children's Heart Center, please contact us.

About Cincinnati Children's

Cincinnati Children's, one of the top five children's hospitals in the nation according to Child magazine, is a 475-bed institution devoted to bringing the world the joy of healthier kids. Cincinnati Children's is dedicated to providing care that is timely, efficient, effective, family-centered, equitable and safe. For its efforts to transform the way health care is provided, Cincinnati Children's received the 2006 American Hospital Association-McKesson Quest for Quality Prize". Cincinnati Children's ranks second nationally among all pediatric centers in research grants from the National Institutes of Health and is a teaching affiliate of the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. The Cincinnati Children's vision is to be the leader in improving child health.

Contact Information

Danielle Lewis, 513-636-9473, danielle.lewis1@cchmc.org