State-of-the-art £1.2m Catheter Lab opens at Arrowe Park

Wirral University Teaching Hospital (WUTH) has a unveiled a new state-of-the-art Cardiac Catheter Lab for heart patients following a £1.2 million refurbishment.

Around 1000 procedures, such as implantation of pacemakers, are carried out in the Cardiac Catheter Lab at Arrowe Park Hospital each year.

With highly specialised equipment, the upgraded heart facility will enhance the quality of care for heart patients.

The Cardiac Catheter Lab is part of WUTH’s Cardiology department which cares for around 2,500 Wirral residents who have been fitted with pacemakers. These small electrical devices are placed in the chest and are used to treat some abnormal heart rhythms.

The department also fits and monitors implantable loop recorders. This means that throughout the day, this cardiac monitor can keep track of the heart’s electrical activity. The most common uses include looking for causes of fainting, palpitations, very fast or slow heartbeats, and hidden rhythms that can cause strokes. While external heart monitors can only record for 24 or 48 hours, during which time an episode may not occur, an implantable device can remain in place for up to three years. They are able to record activity at the crucial time and help with the diagnosis.

Dr Nikki Stevenson, Medical Director and Deputy Chief Executive at Wirral University Teaching Hospital, said, “This is a fantastic facility that will enhance the high level specialised care we provide to patients. The procedures carried out in our Catheter Lab greatly improve the quality of life for patients. This investment shows our commitment to continually improving patient care in our hospitals.”

This state-of-the-art facility will be used by the specialist Catheter Lab team at WUTH which includes a radiographer, nurse, cardiac interventionist and cardiac physiologist. The new facility will also improve patient experience, as they are usually awake for these procedures under local anaesthetic.

The Cardiac Catheter Lab also has close links to Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital, ensuring that WUTH patients needing complex devices, imaging and procedures such as angioplasty to improve blood flow to the heart, are referred promptly.