In early April, I had the distinct honor of attending the dedication of the new cardiac catheterizion lab at Children’s Memorial Hospital. Funds for the new lab were raised by the Children’s Service Board just before I joined the board. If I’m not mistaken, it took about $3 million. While I was not on the board when this gift was made, I was eager to see the new lab as Charlotte has had two cardiac catheterizations.
The new lab is inside the operating theater suite, allowing the cardiac interventionists to work even more closely with the surgeons. Because the lab is within the sterile suite, children can move from the lab directly to surgery if necessary and, if a condition proves truly emergent, surgery can occur in the lab.
Catheterizations are guided by sonogram and the camera now installed has 360 degree mobility, allowing for much more detailed views of the heart and better diagnosis as well as more precision in determining the success of a procedure.
We got to play with the IVs and other tools used for procedures such as closing VSDs, various stents, etc. (We only played with demonstration items–nothing that would be used on a kid!) Closing a VSD used to require open heart surgery; now the doctors can insert the patch via an IV, reducing the invasion into a child’s heart.
Dr. Jeffery Gossett, pictured here, delivered a wonderful presentation, then gave us a tour, and guided us through the different tools (or “toys” as he called them), showing us videos of each utensil at work. It was astounding. When we talk about the miracle of modern medicine, I think we really only know part of the story. What Dr. Gossett and his colleagues do on a daily basis takes a steady hand, intense focus, and dedication. It was a privilege to see even a little bit of his world.
Since we were all suited up in sterile gear, the nurse who coordinates the operating theaters, gave us the grand tour. I can’t tell you how moving it was to enter the operating room in which my darling girl’s heart has been repaired twice.