“They literally saved my life. It is priceless” – Angioplasty Lab


TBRHSCTHUNDER BAY – Healthcare in Thunder Bay took another step upward and forward this week. With the opening of the second Catheterization Laboratory in our city, the waiting times will drop, and more patients will receive life saving surgery.

The grand opening of a second Catheterization Laboratory at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre has ushered in a new era of Cardiac Services at TBRHSC. Already having a huge impact on patient care, this new lab enhances what Cardiology Teams can accomplish in treating a greater number of patients in a shorter period of time. Fewer patients have to wait in line for care. That means more patient beds are available for other acute care patients.

Angèle Brunelle is the Chair of the TBRHSC Board of Directors. “The significance of this celebration is literally life-changing”, she said. “I know that lives have been saved, and cherished friends and family members have returned home to renew their hopes and dreams. There are a lot of champions behind the scenes that make this possible. I pay tribute to them all.”

Since the TBRHSC Angioplasty Service was introduced a couple of years ago, over 1500 patients have received treatment in the single, available room. “The good news”, says Dr. Frank Nigro, Chief of the Cardiology Department, “with two suites being utilized, the waiting time for patients to receive an Angioplasty is much shorter. Besides, we are now far more capable of handling the emergency cases that we know will arrive at the site. Time matters. That is why we are so grateful to a lot of people who made this happen. We see the look on the faces of patients and families as they leave. It is profound, actually. Without a word, I see these people making a deeply moving statement of thanksgiving. For all of us, this is a highly rewarding environment to work in.”

Dr. Mark Henderson, Director of Interventional Cardiology, states, “Direct Angioplasty is the gold standard for treatment of heart attacks. Certain patients are prone to complications related to “clotbusting” drugs. With the opening of the second Laboratory at TBRHSC, direct Angioplasty Services will be available to patients on a 24/7 basis as of October 1, 2011”.

Andrée Robichaud is the President and CEO of TBRHSC. She says “A lot of patients and families have been anxiously waiting for this new lab to be completed. And, to think the construction project took place right beside the existing lab. Steel had to be erected, floors put in place, walls put up, equipment installed and finishing details applied. All of this while patients received treatment within a few feet in the next room. It is a great achievement by everyone not to have to interrupt service. Now
look at what we have to offer. It is truly world-class. Our Cardiology Services have come a long way in a short period of time. We are achieving our corporate Vision for the distinct purpose of being “Healthy Together”.

James Forbes recently received life-saving Angioplasty at TBRHSC. “I have heard about people’s lives being changed in a heart-beat but I didn’t think that I would ever be part of the story. However, here I am, talking to you. How can words express my gratitude? How can my family say thank you? Having the doctors and the teams of healthcare workers so close at my time of need was tremendously comforting. They literally saved my life. It is priceless”.

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