More than 5,300 cardiac patients will receive world-class care each year from the new La Trobe Financial Cardiac Catheterisation Unit at Epworth Richmond.

The three new catheterisation laboratories within the unit will treat patients requiring heart stents, pacemakers, arrhythmia management, structural heart disease including percutaneous aortic valves and improvement of peripheral vascular disease with this latest technology to improve the health of Victorians.

Each catheterisation lab has systems which monitor pressure and how blood flows through the heart and vessels. The diagnostic tools with ultrasound and optical coherence tomography allow evaluation of coronary arteries. 2D and 3D imaging techniques will improve diagnosis of disease and other conditions, while reducing the dose of radiation given to patients, making the procedures even safer.

Allison Evans, Executive General Manager Epworth Richmond said the $5 million state-of-the-art unit will provide improved patient care, thanks to the generous support of La Trobe Financial.

“La Trobe Financial is a long-standing supporter of Epworth HealthCare,” Ms Evans said.

“Opening the La Trobe Financial Cardiac Catheterisation Unit just after COVID-19 wouldn’t have been possible this year without La Trobe Financial’s continued commitment to patient care.”

Greg O’Neill OAM, La Trobe Financial President and CEO, stated that “we are very proud of our partnership with Epworth. We hold the same values and that is to improve the wellbeing of our community and make a difference to the lives of others.”

“Through the work of the La Trobe Financial Foundation we are committed to investing in the advancement and wellbeing of our broader community and Australians from all walks of life. Our company considers this gift as an important way of giving back to the community. Knowing that Epworth patients and their clinical staff have access to a range of leading edge and world’s best practice medical equipment, was important to us.”

Each of the new laboratories is larger, ensuring that surgeons can perform all procedures, unrestricted by the size of the space. The laboratories include a dedicated holding bay and recovery areas for patients, easier access to theatres and a better working environment for staff and doctors.

Epworth Richmond Cardiac Institute Director Assoc. Professor Ron Dick said Integrated Insight Technology in the La Trobe Financial Cardiac Catheterisation Unit is a first in Victoria, which provides an easier more precise way of approaching the increasingly complex cases.

“We have an aging population requiring more complex cardiac and vascular procedures,” Assoc Prof Dick said.

“The physiological and intra-arterial imaging available in the new labs drives precision-based patient care, making performing those complex procedures safer and easier.”

The new imaging allows cardiologists to make the perfect size sent to help keep the artery from narrowing or closing again, ensuring sufficient blood flow to the heart.

A Cardiac Diagnostic Unit has been established within the Cardiac Catheterisation Unit, to provide multiple diagnostic services for cardiovascular disease including exercise stress testing and electrophysiology capabilities to observe heart rhythm and activity. The unit will provide advanced monitoring, mapping, and diagnostic and interventional equipment to support the range of procedures for routine and emergency cardiac care.