A new diagnostic service for patients suffering from chest pain is being offered at the James Paget University Hospital (JPUH).
For the first time, the hospital is providing a Cardiac CT coronary angiography service, set up by its radiology and cardiology teams. The service uses a new hi-tech scanner installed this year.
Consultant Radiologist Dr Kashif Ashraf, who reports these cardiac scans, said the new service brought many benefits.
“Cardiac CT is a ‘non-invasive’ way of checking the health of the vessels of the heart, with a patient simply being scanned by a machine.
“The alternative is to perform an angiogram, a procedure which involves putting guide wires, catheters and dye into blood vessels which is invasive, more time consuming, has risks and is more expensive.”
Already, the first 13 patients to benefit from the service have had scans in the last week – including one patient who was admitted to A & E with severe chest pain and would otherwise have needed an angiogram to discover if anything was wrong.
“In this case, the scan immediately identified that nothing was wrong with the blood vessels of the heart and saved a great deal of worry for the patient concerned,” added Dr Ashraf.
Up to eight patients can be scanned in a four-hour session at the hospital once the service is running at maximum capacity, using the new Phillips CT scanner.