The ‘indisputable case’ for enhanced interventional cardiology services at University Hospital Waterford (UHW) has been underlined by the establishment of a new safe procedural limit per individual Cath Lab, according to a prominent campaigner.
“There were 3400 cardiac (permanent lab) procedures at UHW last year,” according to Matt Shanahan of the Health Equality for the South East (HEFSE) campaign.
“That’s an increase of almost a thousand on what was recorded at UHW in 2015 (2489 – figures which were made public last week). But even if we take just the 2015 figure into account, the number of procedures being carried out at UHW which has just one cath lab operating for 39 hours a week, was only exceeded nationally that year by St James’s Hospital (2645 procedures per cath lab), where there are two cath labs operating on a 24/7 basis.”
The 24/7 cardiac care debate re-ignited last week in relation to the findings of a report completed in June by Galway cardiologist Professor Kieran Daly for the HSE’s Acute Coronary Syndrome (ACS) Steering Group.
In the report, Prof Daly refers to a newly established ACS annual ‘safe limit’ of 2500 procedures per cath lab, and when one considers that UHW has recorded over 3000 yearly procedures since 2016, it begs the question: why no second cath lab in the South East?
Regarding the ‘relocatable’ Cath Lab recently installed at UHW, Mr Shahanan (“and this cannot be disputed”) stated: “It is capable of providing full cardiac intervention in addition to the existing lab and again you have to wonder why it’s not being used for both diagnostic intervention and stenting (it cannot accommodate the latter at present). Dublin has one cath lab per 67,000 people. The South East has just one, operating part-time, for over 500,000 people.”
(See this week’s Munster Express Newspaper pages 2, 3 & 18 for more)