St. Paulís Hospital opens
$5.25-million Heart Centre expansion
VANCOUVER Ė St. Paulís Hospital has expanded its Heart Centre with an
investment of $5.25 million in new resources.
The renovation and expansion will improve access for patients who need
specialized diagnostic, therapeutic and device implantation procedures,
particularly related to rhythm disturbances of the heart. This will
allow many patients to be treated sooner, and, in some cases, shorten
their stay in hospital.
With the renovations, St. Paulís Hospital will have the capacity to
perform up to 30 percent more EP procedures, cardiac catheterization
procedures and cardiac device implantations. As well, the expanded
capacity will free up almost seven weeks of operating and recovery room
time that can be used for other surgical procedures.
This improved service for patients from across the province was made
possible by $2.9 million from the St. Paulís Hospital Foundation for
equipment and $ 2.35 million from Vancouver Coastal Health for the
ďThese renovations will ensure that the latest medical advances are
available to B.C. patients with heart conditions. Providence Health
Care, Vancouver Coastal Health and our other partners in healthcare are
committed to ensuring that B.C.ís cardiac patients have the best
technologies and treatment options available,Ē said Dr. Ron Carere,
Physician Director of the St. Paulís Heart Centre.
Over the past decade, research and evolving technology have made it
possible for cardiac specialists to provide new or better treatments for
patients with many heart conditions, such as coronary artery disease,
heart rhythm problems and congestive heart failure.
For example, cardiologists who specialize in electrophysiology can help
patients with some types of abnormal heart rhythms by mapping out and
selectively eliminating, or ablating, the electrical area of the heart
that is causing the problem. These patients previously required a
lifetime of medication. The renovated areas of the Heart Centre will be
equipped with the latest heart rhythm mapping technology required to do
As well, rapidly increasing numbers of patients are receiving highly
advanced electrical devices, such as implantable cardiac defibrillators.
The new Electrophysiology suite and renovated Cardiac Procedure room
will be equipped for:
ē Electrophysiology mapping to diagnose and treat selective fast heart
rhythm problems that once required a lifetime of medication or were
resistant to medication.
ē Pacemaker insertion that enables patients who have received temporary
pacemakers to receive their permanent pacemakers and leave hospital
ē Insertion of implantable defibrillators, an electrical device capable
of detecting life threatening disturbances in the heart rhythm and
restoring it to normal with an electric shock, saving the patient from
ē Heart biopsies to take tiny samples of heart tissue for diagnostic
purposes; one of the important tests for heart transplant rejection
ē Transesophageal echocardiography, which is a diagnostic ultrasound
test that provides an exceptionally detailed view of the chambers of the
Established in 1994 with the help of $10 million raised by St. Paulís
Hospital Foundation, the Heart Centre has built an international
reputation for its work in the prevention of heart disease and the care,
treatment and support of people living with heart conditions.
As the largest and most comprehensive cardiac care program in British
Columbia, St. Paulís serves a number of unique patient populations and
many of the provinceís most complex and difficult cardiac cases. Its
services include everything from heart attack prevention programs and
open-heart surgery to unique programs such as heart transplantation, the
Pacific Adult Congenital Heart Clinic, and mechanical support
(ventricular assist devices) for patients with severe heart failure.
As a University of British Columbia-affiliated teaching hospital, St.
Paulís serves as a training facility for cardiac professionals, and is a
leader in heart disease research, both in the laboratory and in the
St. Paulís is part of Providence Health Care, which also includes Mount
Saint Joseph Hospital, Holy Family Hospital, St. Vincentís Hospitals (Langara
and Brock Fahrni) and Youville Residence. Providence is Canadaís largest
faith-based healthcare organization.