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Improved SAH lab will perform 2,400 heart procedures a year

Sault MPP Romano announces funding; renovated and expanded lab to be operational by November 2023
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Sault Area Hospital. Darren Taylor/SooToday

Sault MPP Ross Romano announced nearly $6.4 million in funding on Thursday morning for a renovation and expansion of Sault Area Hospital’s cardiac catheterization lab.

The addition of the second cardiac cath lab will allow SAH to complete nearly 2,400 procedures each year once fully operational, including coronary angiograms, angioplasty, cardiac stenting and pacemaker services.

“It’s been difficult for us to be able to meet the level of demand that we have. In a number of circumstances people are being asked to go to southern Ontario to receive these procedures. That is going to change as a result of this announcement,” Romano said at Thursday’s virtual event.

“The second lab will allow for an increase in the number of procedures that we are able to complete on an annual basis and reduce any wait times while supporting care for coronary intervention closer to home,” said Sue Roger, SAH vice president of clinical operations and chief nursing executive.

“In an emergency we’ll be able to run two rooms at once. This is vital for the work we need to do. There is a growing need that is projected for Sault Ste. Marie and Algoma that we will address over time. This is almost double the volume that we are anticipating to do this year,” Roger said.

“We don’t send many cases south now other than cases that we cannot manage or have complexity that would require follow up services,” Roger said.

Renovations to approximately 4,500 square feet will include the redevelopment of approximately 2,000 square feet adjacent to the existing cardiac catheterization laboratory. 

The improved cath lab is anticipated to be fully operational by November 2023.

Construction will start on Monday.

Currently, two SAH cardiologists work at the cath lab five days a week while being on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The two physicians are assisted by five cardiologists from Toronto’s St. Michael's Hospital who work at SAH on a rotational basis.  

SAH’s partnership with St. Michael's Hospital has been in effect since SAH first made angioplasty procedures available in the Sault in August 2018. 

Funding has been secured to purchase equipment needed for the expanded lab facilities by the Sault Area Hospital Foundation, Roger said.

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Darren Taylor

About the Author: Darren Taylor

Darren Taylor is a news reporter and photographer in Sault Ste Marie. He regularly covers community events, political announcements and numerous board meetings. With a background in broadcast journalism, Darren has worked in the media since 1996.
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