Throwback Thursday: Cardiac Cath lab, 1970s - Wyoming Medical Center

Throwback Thursday: Cardiac Cath lab, 1970s

By Kristy Bleizeffer Feb 6, 2020

In recognition of American Heart Month, we're sharing this photo of our Cardiac Cath Lab from what we believe is the 1970s.

We found the photo in the Wyoming Medical Center collection at the Casper College Western History Center, but there was no caption information to tell us when it was taken or who is pictured (eating cake, no less.)

Cath is medical shorthand for cardiac catheterization, a procedure that utilizes thin, hollow tube called catheters to examine heart function and to look for coronary disease. Physicians can measure pressure and blood flow through your heart by injecting contrast dye through the catheter and taking x-rays to follow the dye's progress through your coronary arteries.

Today, Wyoming Medical Center has two cardiac cath labs and we performed 2,973 cath procedures in FY2019. Among the most important procedures we do is the treatment of heart attacks. Wyoming Medical Center has consistently been ranked as among the fastest 25 percent of hospitals in the country for our quick, expert care of the most serious of heart attacks: ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction (STEMI). The American College of Cardiology recommends less than 90-minutes in door-to-balloon time - the time from when a patient arrives at the Emergency Room to the time a balloon is inflated in the heart's blocked vessel. Wyoming Medical Center's door-to-balloon time was 51 minutes in FY2019.

For Heart Month, we'd love to learn more about the photo at top. If you recognize the people here, please let us know!

We're also taking the chance to remind you that calling 911 is the best way to get the fastest care for every heart attack, every time.

Call 911 at first sign of heart attack

Heart attacks are medical emergencies that require immediate treatment. At the first signs of heart attack, call 911. Do not lie down to see if the symptoms pass. Do not ask a friend or loved one to drive you to the hospital. Above all else, don’t think you can drive to the hospital yourself.

In the treatment of heart attacks, time means muscle: The quicker a blocked vessel is opened, the less muscle tissue dies and the better chance a patient has at survival.

When a patient calls 911, we shave an average of 10 to 11 minutes off door-to-balloon time. Our ambulances are miniature, mobile emergency rooms and treatment begins in the field when patients call 911.

“Everything that we need to do at the hospital is already prepared when the patient is rolling in by ambulance. The whole time to treatment will be much shorter,” says Cardiologist Adrian Fluture, M.D.