HAPPY HEARTS: The Morning Bulletins' Peter Lynch was one of hundreds to recieve a coronary diagnosis proceedure earlier this year at the Maters' Cath Lab.
HAPPY HEARTS: The Morning Bulletins' Peter Lynch was one of hundreds to recieve a coronary diagnosis proceedure earlier this year at the Maters' Cath Lab. Allan Reinikka ROK210319acathlab

Cardiology team put their case for more services to MP

THE cardiology team at the Mater Hospital had the chance to put their case to the federal member yesterday for a duplication of the catheter laboratory facility made available in 2018.

The cardiology team has completed more than 250 coronary diagnostic procedures, such as angiography, since the lab was opened at the end of June last year and the the team also uses the lab for regular pacemaker insertions, an operation that once would have required the patient to travel to Brisbane.

Member for Capricornia, Michelle Landry shared personal experiences of heart conditions and complications in her family as she was guided through the operational catheter lab and shown an example of an angiogram screening.

As one of the team talked Ms Landry through the angiogram of a left coronary vessel, it was apparent, even for the laymen in the room, that the high definition screen was a highly effective way to diagnose heart conditions.

The blood vessel on the screen demonstrated a 'central narrowing' which resembled an hourglass, and the doctor was easily able to explain the image revealed the potential for an imminent heart attack.

Then entered cardiologist, Dr Debora Garcia, who began to tell Ms Landry of a room next door identical to the one in which she stood, but without the same screening equipment.

She said opening a second lab would save lives and save the taxpayer millions.

"You only have about 15 minutes until the heart starts dying after a heart attack, and not much longer until the patient starts dying,” Dr Garcia said.

"Patients are transferred down to Brisbane, which costs the taxpayer about $27million each year, and by the time they get there, half of the heart is gone.”

Dr Garcia also told Ms Landry her team was poised to start coronary stenting procedures, which would rule out further need for time sensitive patients to travel to Brisbane.

But, she said this step would hang on approvals from Queensland Health and securing permanent qualified cardiology professionals.

Dr Garcia's pitch continued for around twenty minutes as Ms Landry listened intently.

Her manner suggested a mix of urgency and passion, as she said the Mater was years ahead of any other hospital in Central Queensland when it came to being able to implement the catheter labs' technology into life saving procedures; like stents.

When Dr Garcia finished talking, Ms Landry simply asked "So, what can we do to assist with this?”

Dr Garcia said the second lab, estimated at $2.2million, would encourage doctors to stay in Rockhampton and meet their training requirements, which would subsequently strengthen the case for approvals of life saving procedures to be conducted in town.

The team said the second room was entirely ready for the technology and the software to be plugged in and a business case had been prepared.

She asked if one could be sent to her office.

"Leave it with me, I'll see what I can do,” Ms Landry said