Our physicians performed the first outpatient cardiac catheterization in New England, a procedure during which a thin flexible tube is inserted into an artery or vein and advanced to the heart or its coronary arteries. The procedure measures pressure, oxygen levels in the blood, valve function, and how well the heart muscle is pumping, and detects blockages in the heart's arteries.
We were also among the first in the United States to perform angioplasty (a procedure that reduces or eliminates blockages in coronary arteries), insert stents and complete rotational atherectomies (a procedure that drills away blockages), as well as include a catheterization lab directly in our emergency center.
Rhode Island Hospital and The Miriam Hospital are pioneers in the development of surgeries performed to diagnose and treat heart conditions. Many current day techniques, strategies and tools used to perform catheterizations were developed in conjunction with our hospitals. These advances have made the diagnosis and treatment of heart disease easier, safer, more accurate and more effective.
More recently we have investigated and participated in the refinement of drug eluting stents. A stent is a device permanently inserted in an artery to keep it open. Drug eluting stents release medication into the wall of the coronary artery to prevent blockages from recurring.
Our highly trained, experienced and dedicated team have worked together for decades, receiving many accolades for professionalism. Rhode Island Hospital specializes in the treatment of patients who arrive in the early stages of a heart attack and excels in the management of these acutely ill patients.