Heart disease is the number of killer in this country. The most common cause of heart disease is blockage of the coronary arteries, the blood vessels that supply blood to the heart itself. There is probably a good chance you or someone you know has had a coronary stent put in to open that blockage to prevent a stroke or fatal heart attack. Now you can see for yourself what happens in a catheter lab. All it takes is a trip to the Sioux Empire Fair.
Larry Hofmeister is a Registered Nurse in the Avera Heart Hospital Cath Lab. He says, "This takes the mystery out of it. It lets people see what we do in angiograms or angioplasty, putting stents in running wires up and down."
The mobile cath lab is is actually used by doctors and support staff all over the country to train on new procedures using catheters that are fed up through the femoral artery in the thigh.
Mary Pester from Watertown watches the demonstration with bated breath. Heart disease runs in her family. She says, "I have a brother who had to go through an angiogram and he has the same cholesterol problems I do so I'm kinda thinking my turn is coming."
And if it does, she knows now what to expect.
Larry says, "Knowledge is power. Having a little bit of knowledge takes the fear away if you have a relative coming in and having a procedure done."
Hands on training in a risk free environment and for today for your viewing pleasure to put your mind at ease because you never know when if could be you on the table.
Check out the mobile cath lab for yourself. It will be at the fair through August 8, 2008 at 4:00pm and is open to the public for free. It's in between the pancake house and the expo building.