Regent’s Park launches Europe’s First Relocatable Hybrid Cardiac Catheter Lab

Regent’s Park, an independent healthcare company specialising in the provision of infrastructure solutions to the NHS, today announced it has been awarded a contract to provide Europe’s first relocatable hybrid catheter laboratory to the Great Western Hospital in Swindon, part of the Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (“Great Western”).

Dr. Ohri, Founder and CEO of Regent’s Park said: “It is fantastic to have won yet another competitive tender before the end of the year.” He said: “This pioneering project was executed to very strict timelines and financial constraints, making it one of our most challenging as well as rewarding cath lab projects to date.” He added: “For those unfamiliar with the terminology, a hybrid cath lab combines the advantages of a cath lab with those of an operating theatre to provide cardiologists and cardiac surgeons the opportunity to perform joint endovascular procedures.”

Dr. Ohri said: “We have taken the view that the cardiology operating arena is becoming increasingly sophisticated and standard cath labs currently do not adequately meet the demands of 21st century cardiology. Most cath labs were designed for an era of diagnostic and angioplasty procedures, however the reality is that they need to be designed and built to meet the growing demands of increasingly complex invasive cardiology – electrophysiology and ablation, pacing, cardiac devices as well as the trend to perform more endovascular procedures.” He added: “For example, there are now heart operations called transcatheter aortic valve implantations (TAVI’s), that cannot easily take place in any other environment but a hybrid cath lab. Although access for most percutaneous heart valve replacements is through the femoral artery, in some people – small, elderly women for example – that blood vessel is too small to use for access. For patients such as these, the operation can only be done by means of a subclavian or transapical approach. The latter requires about a 5 centimeter surgical incision on the side of the chest, thus demanding a hybrid operating room in addition to catheterisation. If undertaken in a standard operating room, where there would be no fixed imaging equipment, the catheter part of the operation would have to be undertaken using a mobile x-ray unit, which would involve relatively high doses of radiation and poor image quality.” He concluded: “It is understandably more expensive to build these types of cath labs, but we believe the improvement in patient care they can deliver is well worth the additional costs”.

Bryn Webber, Cardiac Services Director for Regent’s Park and project lead said:  “Moving an operating theatre into a cath lab is no easy matter. It creates a complex environment in which each piece of technology has to be carefully integrated. We undertook a series of roundtable discussions with cardiologists, cardiac surgeons, staff and our patients to find the best design solution and to answer some fundamental questions: How can adequate high-end imaging be provided, for instance, without getting in the way of surgical lights and ventilation? What sort of operating table do you install to service the needs of both open and closed surgery? What sort of space and ventilation is required for cardiovascular teams sometimes amounting to ten or more people? When the equipment for anaesthesia is added, how do you ensure that lights, monitors, tubes, movable x-ray equipment, lead protection and people do not get in each other’s way? There was the additional challenge of putting all of this into a relocatable building with integrated plant and ventilation systems, as well as designing IT, PACS and service links that could be easily plugged into any host hospital.”

Bryn Webber added: “The hybrid cath lab was built and delivered in just 12 weeks to the Great Western. The lab is about 75 square metres in size, roughy double the size of a standard cath lab, and is equipped with a brand new Siemens Artis Zee floor-mounted C-arm system that can be moved into almost any axis to provide sophisticated imaging during procedures. Around the operating environment are groups of surgical lights and monitors attached to arms extending from the ceiling that can be moved into any position manually. There are also built-in sockets for connections to medical gases, contrast injector systems, intra-aortic balloon pumps and suction. We have also thought carefully about the requirements of staff in what can be very long procedures and have incorporated a kitchenette and WC into the building as well.”

Bryn Webber finally said: “Whilst this is a very sophisticated lab, it’s real value comes from the fact that it can be easily relocated to provide instant additional capacity – it can be made operational within 2 hours of delivery, and is capable of performing a complete range of procedures – both simple and highly complex cardiovascular procedures, in a safe and very high quality environment to patients.”

Regent’s Park Heart Clinics Ltd. and Regent’s Park Cardiovascular Solutions Ltd. are independent companies dedicated to creating world-class centres for the diagnosis and treatment of heart disease. Regent’s Park develops, owns and operates diagnostic and treatment facilities focusing exclusively on cardiovascular disease in partnership with leading hospitals and groups of cardiologists across the United Kingdom.

Regent’s Park has been a national provider of cardiology services to the NHS since 2003, and has provided invasive cardiology procedures to over 20,000 patients through its facilities – coronary angiograms, coronary angioplasty, cardiac electrophysiology, transcatheter aortic valve implantations, defibrillator and pacing procedures. regent’s park prides itself on its ability to deliver high quality, cost effective cardiac care, through excellent service, efficient operations management, well trained staff, and uncompromising professionalism.

The Regent’s Park guiding philosophy is that every patient with heart disease should have access to healthcare of a world-class standard.

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