Plans to remodel two areas within the hospital walls and incorporate a cardiac catheterization laboratory and a 64-slice CT scanner will become a reality at South Bay Hospital in Sun City Center.
Natalia Diaz, director of marketing, said that every morning during their hospital meetings, they have talked about a cardiac catheterization laboratory, with a slice CT scanner facility located down the hall from the cath lab.
“It’s been a goal for our CEOs to have a cath lab down here,” Diaz said in a recent interview. “Because of the aging population, you need a cath lab.”
South Bay Hospital’s parent company, Hospital Corporation of America, turned that talk into reality. They are earmarking $3 million to locate a cath lab next to the emergency room so patients can be treated immediately, instead of being sent to another hospital to be diagnosed or treated.
A 64-slice CT scanner will be built in part of the area now reserved for the surgical waiting room. The cath lab will be positioned in what is now the observation suite.
The cardiac catheterization lab will be able to perform coronary angiography, pacemaker/ICD insertions, peripheral angiography interventions and carotid stents.
According to Diaz, the CT scanner is state-of-the-art, which will provide 3-D imaging of all areas of the body, including cases where there needs to be reconstructions of arterial blood flow established in the patient.
An important aspect of the CT scanner is the lowered levels of radiation that need to be used to get the image.
Both technologies will allow most procedures to be done without booking the patient into the hospital. In most cases, the patient can be sent home after the procedures.
Diaz says that the scanner is the “latest and greatest” on the market today. Establishing the catheterization lab at the hospital will not only help the patient during a crisis but also can be used as a preventive measure.
“When you have a life-threatening event,” Diaz said, “you have to have immediate access to care.”
In 2013, installation of a $1.3 million digital flat panel imaging system in the radiation suite has allowed physicians to do more advanced vascular interventions.
Construction on the cath lab and scanner is expected to start by the end of this month.
HCA includes 165 hospitals and 115 surgery centers in 20 states and England. They employ 204,00 people. The first HCA hospital was started in Nashville in 1968.
South Bay Hospital is at 4016 Sun City Center Blvd. in Sun City Center; 813-634-3301.