New cath lab brings improved outcomes for patients

Posted on 24 July 2018

Following the recent replacement of the catheterisation lab, Mediclinic Panorama now offers the first Philips Azurion biplane system in Africa. This promises to offer patients improved clinical outcomes.

This new system, opened earlier in July, limits the amount of radiation dose through accurate targeting while also providing user friendly controls for the radiographers. The latest technology of the system allows doctors to accurately visualise the correct placement of a stent without using additional radiation bursts as has previously been required. By making use of the last view before placement as a background, the doctor now has the option to rely on that view for guidance, rather than on intermittent contrast injections and bursts of radiation to be sure it is placed correctly.

Once the stent has been placed, the new technology of the system provides a clear still image allowing the doctor to fine tune the deployment through the use of a balloon while monitoring it through the programme.

A team of cardiologists across Mediclinic Panorama are making use of the new system, and they are very positive about the introduction of the system. One doctor describes the difference, “The integration of the various sub analytic systems such as OCT (Optical Coherence Tomography) technology into the system makes life a lot easier and increases the quality of the examination, while also giving a much higher and or accurate diagnostic yield than anything I have seen before.”

The new system is mainly used for coronary angiography, but also for peripheral studies and stenting, aortic aneurism stenting (when needed), and carotid arteries stenting, where the latest version of the 3D imaging can remarkably enhance imaging.

A cardiologist among those who have already used the system explains, “The clarity of the images that we can achieve are really good and the manipulation, particularly the live coronary artery road mapping and the ability to isolate areas for further investigation, is something that I haven’t seen before in any other similar machine.”

The introduction of ‘procedure cards’ for different applications provides vital time saving benefits. During training, the cards store pre-sets for each type of investigation allowing the radiographer to go straight to the right settings without wasting time in theatre. Cardiac, vascular and pacemaker cases all require different settings but these are now conveniently grouped and then stored for use when needed, especially when the team are under pressure during interventions.

The addition of a tableside TV monitor allows the radiographers to conveniently choose programmes with the use of a touch screen – once again adding to ease of use.

A parallel function in the review station allows the team to do things, such as measure arteries on the review panel, without having to interrupt the doctors performing the screening. It also allows surgeons easy access to review their case without disrupting a current case. The parallel function offers an additional benefit of allowing reporting and post-processing of images to happen simultaneously.

The Azurion camera functionality can benefit patients with renal failure requiring angiograms, as the number of contrast injections can now drastically be reduced from 5 to 2. This is possible through the availability of improved rotating camera views, allowing multiple views of the arteries with one injection of contrast thus leading to less risk to impaired kidney function patients.

Dinky Proos, one of a team of 5 radiographers who perform the radiography x-rays in the cath lab theatres, says the improved functionality of the Azurion is very exciting from a radiographer’s perspective. Learning the machine was a challenge but the Philips training helped tremendously: “We underwent intensive training on the system, learning how to manipulate the settings and image quality. We are very excited by the advancement in the system and what it will mean for clinical outcomes.”

Clarity Technology on the system allows the specialists to administer less radiation (dose) without compromising on the quality of the image, while minimising the risk to both patient and healthcare professionals in the theatre through reduced exposure.

In conclusion, another cardiologist affirms the value of the new system, “I really believe that I can treat coronary artery and structural cardiac disease significantly easier than with the systems in place elsewhere. It is awesome to have access to the best equipment. I am sure our outcomes will improve further and that the patients we serve will have positive experiences and will have better health.”

Published in Business