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Cath/EP Lab and Hybrid OR Monitor Failure Rates Skyrocket

Ampronix

Mike ThomasA hospital or health care facility can be composed of dozens of departments. A catheterization lab, commonly referred to as cath lab or EP lab, is instrumentally vital to one of the busiest departments – cardiology. Hybrid ORs are equipped with diagnostic imaging technology to give physicians visual access to chambers and arteries of the heart. In these areas, physicians perform life-saving procedures including coronary artery bypass graft surgery, balloon angioplasty, congenital heart defect closure, stenotic heart valve and pacemaker implantations.

These acute procedures would not be possible without the appropriate technology to facilitate the imaging process. Cath lab operations are dependent on medical displays, as these monitors allow physicians to visualize a patient internally and perform the necessary procedure. In a single medical procedure, up to 4-6 monitors can be utilized at any time for enhanced visibility.

Although many monumental advancements have been made in the efficiency of cath labs, the dependence on X-rays for imaging has persisted through every upgrade. From purchasing analog or digital modalities to choosing a single or bi-plane system, there are endless customization possibilities. Typically, the rooms consist of an image intensifier, C-arm, X-ray tubes and several displays.

Advantageously, the digital age ushered in an era of improvements to imaging technology, which emitted less radiation, and displayed visual clarity. The adoption of CRT monitors in the cath lab inherently changed how labs run.

In the early cath labs, all information was conveyed through film. The X-rays utilized produced high-doses of radiation and low-quality images and were printed on 16-mm or 35-mm film. Then, radiologists spent many hours in darkrooms to process images and ample storage space was wasted holding boxes of film.

With the implementation of picture archiving and communication systems (PACS), the transition from analog to digital technology was concretized. PACS is an all-in-one program that provides electronic storage, retrieval, distribution and presentation of radiology images.

Cath/EP Lab and Hybrid OR Monitor Failure Rates Skyrocket

Example of how a Cath Lab Monitor is being used within the EP Lab.

In the cath lab, there are typically four to six CRT or LCDs in use. One image is always utilized for monitoring physiological attributes like a patient’s heart rate or blood oxygen level. Following CRT displays, was the adaptation of LCD monitors. Many physicians upgraded to these monitors since they are slimmer, more portable and offer higher resolution images.

“We are witnessing yet another transition in cath lab, hybrid OR monitors as many physicians are upgrading from CCFL HD displays to ultra-high-definition 4K/8MP technology,” says Michael Thomas, director of business development and marketing at Ampronix.

Many health care facilities have upgraded or are currently in the process of upgrading their medical displays to this resolution. These monitors provide a level of visibility previously unknown to physicians. During critical surgeries and procedures, increased clarity and sharper details can mean the difference between saving or losing a life.

These 4K/8MP large medical-grade displays are considered to be the new “gold standard” for surgical applications allowing multiple screens to be viewed on a single monitor while taking up a minimal amount of space. When a 4K/8MP display is combined with a video manager, it can be customized with a variety of layout options and editing tools like magnification. The design is easier to use and provides a higher resolution, making its adoption an easy choice as it facilitates precise procedures and minimally invasive surgeries.

Although the advancement of this technology has improved patient care, the transition could prove to be detrimental and may demand considerable attention. With four to six displays in the cath lab previously, there are preventative measures in place that guarantee a backup option should a monitor burn out. In critical imaging procedures like angioplasty, mere seconds without visibility become crucial moments, and a single display makes cath labs extremely susceptible to all the associated risks.

To solve this issue, some displays are equipped with a secondary back-up monitor that folds out, if needed. However, this is a sacrifice that presents limited visual acuity. When this situation unravels, the entire procedure must be halted and the patient sutured up, as technicians attempt to remedy the problem.

Furthermore, any display failure amounts to an entire cath lab being rendered obsolete until a replacement or repair solution is provided. Unfortunately, the turn around time for either of those protocols can take over a week.

THE SOLUTION

Ampronix has been repairing and selling 4K monitors with 56-inch, 58-inch and 60-inch screens for cath labs and hybrid ORs for years.

Ampronix is also able to sell, service and repair cath lab monitors manufactured by Philips, GE, Siemens, Shimadzu, Toshiba, Hitachi, Eizo, Barco, Chilin and Optik View.

Some benfits of using Ampronix for monitor needs include:

  • Cost savings
  • Reduced downtime
  • Huge inventory
  • Low prices
  • Fast delivery

Ampronix services include preventive maintenance, replacement of LCD, backlights, reflectors and power supplies as well as remote adjustments.

“We know how important your cath lab is and want to ensure you have zero downtime in the event your monitor will need service or replacement,” Thomas said. “Nationwide requests received by 2 p.m. PST will receive same or next day delivery. Ampronix also offers a readily available response team to assist and answer questions for urgent repairs, ESD- and ASQ-certified technicians and capable and competent customer service representatives for all your medical technology questions and concerns.”

For more information, visit www.ampronix.com or email contact@ampronix.com.

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