Building up (L-R): Lisa Vickers, PPCI Project Manager and Business Manager Medicine and A&E, Dr David O’Brien, Consultant Cardiologist and Clinical Lead for PPCI Project, Jim Hardie, Contracts Manager for J Tomlinson, and Ken Williams, Capital Projects Manager ULHT at the turf cutting ceremony
Building work on a new heart centre at Lincoln County Hospital began this week, costing £4 million to create.
The new cardiac catheter laboratory in Lincoln is being built to extend the current services on offer at the hospital.
In addition to the cardiac short stay unit and extra recovery beds, the lab will allow ambulances direct access and offer the new Primary Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PPCI).
PPCI, surgery involving placing a small balloon into the heart from the arm or leg to clear blockage followed by a metal stent to keep the artery open, is available to anyone living in the county suffering a heart attack.
Initially, the service will only be available during office hours, with a rollout of 24/7 access expected in 2013.
So far 90 patients have benefited from PPCI, but this number will increase with the erection of the new facility.
Dr David O’Brien, Consultant Interventional Cardiologist and Clinical Lead said: “The new centre will allow us to offer this first class treatment to all patients across the county.
“The existing heart centre has been really successful. In addition to providing an emergency PPCI service, in the last 12 months alone the current catheter laboratory has also carried out more than 500 elective and inpatient angioplasty procedures; more than 1,000 angiograms and implanted around 150 pacemakers for patients across the county.
“The new lab will be easy to access for ambulances transporting people onto the site. Time is of the essence in clearing an artery once it is blocked.
“It is important to save as much heart muscle as possible and limit damage to the heart. For this reason patients ideally need to be in the heart centre and with their artery unblocked within 120 minutes of calling for help.”
The new centre is hoped to be opened by December this year.