Ochsner Expands Cardiac Care with New Pediatric Interventional Cardiology Lab

NEW ORLEANS – Ochsner Health System has opened a new Pediatric Interventional Cardiology Lab (cath lab) at its flagship campus Ochsner Medical Center – New Orleans. The new cath lab is now ready to serve Ochsner’s smallest and most complex cardiac patients and further enhances Ochsner’s capabilities to provide high quality care for heart patients of all ages. The announcement was made in a press release.

The 1,250 square foot space was designed with pediatric patients in mind. It features a special dose tracking system to reduce radiation exposure to pediatric patients along with a Cannon Alphenix Biplane – an imaging apparatus outfitted with two cameras that rotate simultaneously, leading to better visibility of the tiniest hearts. Additionally, patients can watch cartoons and other kid-friendly videos on a monitor while being prepped in the room for procedures.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every year 40,000 babies are born with congenital heart defects. Depending on the severity of the defect, doctors can repair some conditions through diagnostic and interventional cardiac procedures, including structural heart repairs performed in a cath lab. These minimally invasive procedures are done without opening a patient’s chest. Instead, a cardiologist accesses the heart by inserting a thin plastic tube called a catheter into a patient’s blood vessels in the leg or neck.

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“Ochsner is investing in the health and wellbeing of our tiniest patients. This offering further solidifies us as a leading destination for cardiac care in the region – both for pediatric and adult patients,” said Ivory Crittendon III, MD, senior physician, Pediatric Cardiology, Ochsner Hospital for Children.

Construction of the new Pediatric Interventional Cardiology Lab began in December 2018 and lasted eight months. Caffey, Inc. served as the architect and contractor. The opening of the new cath lab is one of many investments Ochsner has made to expand cardiac care systemwide. Earlier this year, Ochsner Health Center – Kenner opened a second cath lab, expanding its capacity to serve cardiac patients in Jefferson, St. John the Baptist and St. James Parish.

Cardiology at Ochsner

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For the third year in a row, Ochsner Hospital for Children has been named among the top 50 children’s hospitals in the country by U.S. News & World Report, the global authority in hospital rankings and consumer advice. Ochsner Hospital for Children was recognized in two specialties, cardiology and heart surgery and gastroenterology and gastrointestinal surgery.

Ochsner offers the only pediatric heart transplant program in the state of Louisiana and its Pediatric and Adult Congenital Cardiac Surgery Program’s 2018 surgical outcomes greatly exceeded national averages. Ochsner achieved 100% survival in neonatal and child heart surgeries and in the Norwood Procedure, used to treat hypoplastic left heart syndrome.

The congenital cardiovascular team at Ochsner Hospital for Children is comprised of more than 20 congenital cardiologists, interventional congenital cardiologists and congenital heart surgeons. The team works closely with the John Ochsner Heart and Vascular Institute (JOHVI) to ensure coordination of care for patients of all ages with congenital heart disease – from the tiniest of babies to adults.

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JOHVI has been a regional and national leader in cardiology and cardiac surgery for decades. JOHVI is one of fourteen hospitals in the United States to have completed 1000 heart transplants and performed its 500th LVAD (left ventricular assist device) in 2017. Last year Aditya Bansal, MD, surgical director of Heart Transplant, Mechanical Circulatory Support and ECMO, collaborated with a surgical team in Germany in preparation for a groundbreaking double ventricular assist device (BIVAD) implantation.

The JOHVI team of more than 50 cardiologists and surgeons work closely with each patient to develop a customized healthcare plan that is both targeted and effective. JOHVI also participates in more than 100 clinical trials for the goal of advancing knowledge of the mechanisms, treatments and diagnoses of cardiovascular disease.

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