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SRMC Opens New High-Tech Lab

Aug. 1, 2006 – Schneider Regional Medical Center has announced the official opening of a new state-of-the-art dual interventional radiology/cardiology lab in the Roy L. Schneider Hospital. The new lab enables St. Thomas and St. John residents to receive the latest in minimally invasive treatments without having to travel off island for such procedures.
According to an SRMC release issued Tuesday, Schneider Regional is the only medical facility in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico to have a dual interventional lab for both cardiovascular and peripheral work outside the heart (carotids, renals, and leg work).
Dr. Roy Flood, an expert in the field of interventional cardiology, and Dr. Jeffrey Guller, an expert diagnostic and vascular interventional radiologist, will direct the new lab.
The $2.2 million lab will enable physicians to obtain the high-quality images needed to perform detailed vascular and cardiac procedures for both diagnosis and treatment. The monitoring system offers 3-D images that provide the road maps for performing minimally invasive procedures, such as the insertion of catheters and stents. Many patients report less pain and enjoy shorter hospital stays because no surgery is involved.
One common interventional radiology procedure performed in the lab is the use of angioplasty to open blocked grafts for hemodialysis, which treats kidney failure. Another less common but life-saving procedure called TIPS has been used to improve blood flow and prevent hemorrhaging in patients with severe liver dysfunction.
"We see many cases of hypertension and renal artery disease here," said Guller. He explained that with the new dual lab, an angiogram is used to open a blocked vessel or stop intestinal bleeding.
SRMC President and CEO Rodney Miller Sr. said that the new lab represents "an historic time for all of us at Schneider … giving us the ability to offer St. Thomas and St. John residents world-class interventional radiology and cardiology procedures right here at home."
Angioplasty has also been used as a life-saving technique to quickly restore blood flow to the heart muscle during a heart attack and has not been available in St. Thomas in the past. Under the supervision of Flood, also SRMC's chief cardiologist, the hospital can save lives and prevent the loss of normal heart function.
"It is critically important to provide emergency cardiac care to those patients in St. Thomas and St. John with life-threatening cardiovascular events," said Flood. He added that Schneider Regional "will be able to better serve the territory with new and improved interventional radiology procedures that previously had to be done off island. Our overall mission is to provide excellent and expedient health care to our people, and this is a step towards fulfilling that mission."
For a tour of the new dual lab, contact Michael Burton at 776-8311, ext. 2315.
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