SIH News

 Cardiologists and staff train with unique simulator

Prairie Heart Institute - Memorial Hospital of Carbondale provided state-of-the-art, hands on education for its cardiac catheterization lab physicians and staff by
hosting the Boston Scientific Mobile Simulation Training Unit on February 13. The goal was to ensure that staff and physicians remain at the vanguard of cardiac care in southern Illinois.

Just as astronauts and jet pilots use simulators to prepare for life and death scenarios, the Boston Scientific simulator replicates a cardiac catheterization lab with realistic simulation technology that enables doctors and staff to explore new procedures by performing realistic percutaneous coronary interventions (PCI) in a risk-free environment.

The Boston Scientific Mobile Training Unit is a 35-foot bus, complete with a pre-procedure patient briefing area, an area for performing catheterizations on a simulated patient named Simantha and a post-procedure evaluation computer station.

The simulation is complete with functional catheters, stents and other devices with authentic x-ray monitors that display the progress of the catheterization and real-time condition of the robot patient.

Staff and physicians used the mobile simulator to train in the latest treatments for lesions in the coronary arteries considered to be high-risk because they are close to the heart or are very large. They also tried new technology for treating diseased coronary bypass grafts, or saphenous vein grafts (SVGs). During bypass surgery, a surgeon will typically use the saphenous vein from the patient's leg to “bypass” the blocked arteries in the heart. These vein grafts are very fragile and can become diseased again, requiring percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) such as angioplasty or stenting done in a cardiac catheterization lab.

“This is a great opportunity for us to gain a better understanding of what our cardiologists do during a cardiac intervention,” said Jett Crouse, RN, who is on staff in the cardiac catheterization labs at MHC. “It means we can do a better job for them.”

Coronary artery disease (CAD) affects approximately 11 million Americans and is the single leading killer of American men and women, causing approximately 500,000 deaths per year. Prairie Heart Institute - Memorial Hospital of Carbondale is addressing heart disease head-on, with sophisticated training in techniques and devices to treat damaged vessels.

The interventional cardiologists and catheterization lab staff at Carbondale strive to stay informed about the latest technology to treat blocked or diseased arteries. As technologies evolve and allow them to treat more challenging cases, it is important for physicians to maintain the skill and comfort level needed to approach these high risk scenarios. Continuous training is valuable in because is helps to enhance the high standard of care they provide to southern Illinois. The Boston Scientific simulator provides a highly realistic environment

Boston Scientific is a worldwide developer, manufacturer and marketer of medical devices whose products are used in a broad range of interventional medical specialties.

Son Le, MD, uses the simulator to try the newest technology in coronary stenting.