• 66°

Centra dedicates new ‘cutting-edge’ cath lab

A cutting-edge cardiac catheterization lab was dedicated at Centra Southside Community Hospital on Tuesday.

“This catheterization lab will give patients access to minimally invasive techniques available to diagnose and treat cardiovascular disease,” stated a hospital press release.

Dr. Rakesh Jain will lead the interventional cardiology program, bringing over 30 years of experience to Farmville.

“Cath labs save lives,” said hospital CEO Tom Angelo, “and bringing one to the sole hospital provider within 50 miles is life changing for our patients and their families.”

The new lab will not only aid in planned procedures, but also emergencies, such as heart attacks.

“I think it’s going to help a lot,” Jain said of the new lab. He said that over the last several years, hundreds of patients requiring catheterization were sent to either Richmond or Lynchburg. “What I see by offering this service is that … people come in and they can have their catheterization there, both elective and emergent. So, one is the convenience for the patient.”

“You’re talking about an hour-plus drive,” he said of patients having to leave the Farmville area for a cath lab procedure. “We’re going to be able to do that right there, and, generally, about four hours later, they can go home if it’s just a diagnostic catheterization if they don’t have to have a balloon stent.”

He said the time saved and convenience will be “tremendous for the community.”

The new lab, located near the emergency department, features the latest generation of cardiovascular technology, according to the hospital. “This technology can shorten the procedure time, potentially reduce hospital stay and offers enhanced safety by reducing radiation doses.”

Jain, who has had long relationships with patients in Farmville, said he looks forward to leading the lab.

“With what Centra’s done here with the old Roses Store and the facilities that they’ve established there and then with the improvements to the hospital, this is fantastic for us to be able to have all the capabilities that we have here now,” said Town Manager Gerald Spates. “And then, the addition of this, it just really expands those capabilities.”

Angelo said that the lab “will allow (Centra Southside) to continue to provide the most comprehensive heart care available in the area, and enhance our ability to treat advanced cardiovascular disease.”

For more information about the lab, or to make an appointment with a cardiologist, call  (434) 392-4370.