The primary goal of the electrophysiology (EP) lab is to provide specialized diagnostic and interventional treatment for all types of cardiac rhythm disorders. Approximately 1,500 EP cases per year are performed in the lab at CAMC.
EP procedures offered at CAMC include:
- Pacemakers - small devices placed in the chest or abdomen to help control abnormal heart rhythms
- Implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) - devices to help treat irregular heartbeats in people with life-threatening arrhythmias
- Electrophysiology studies to test the heart’s electrical system
- Ablations – scarring or destroying tissue in the heart to prevent electrical misfiring that causes arrhythmias
CAMC’s EP program began in 1989. There were two dedicated registered nurses and one dedicated cardiovascular technologist (CVT) at that time. The lab itself functioned on a floor separate from other cardiac services until it was integrated into the Heart and Vascular Center in 2009. What is most unique about the EP lab at CAMC is that the pioneer staff - a physician and two nurses - has remained here since its inception.
Nurses cross train on monitoring and mapping systems and all staff can scrub in and assist on implants. The EP staff is required to be certified in both advanced cardiac and basic life support. There are two full-time EP labs, and one shared with cardiac catheterization. CAMC has four full-time electrophysiologists, two cardiologists who perform implant procedures, four dedicated EP nurses, three float nurses, five dedicated radiology technologists (RT) and one float RT.
Nationally, EP procedures continue to rise, and there is no exception locally.
CAMC continues to grow and has remained in the top 20 hospitals nationally in heart procedure volumes for many years. Since EP is labor intensive and demands expertise in training of ancillary personnel, CAMC continues the training of more technicians and nurses.
If you think you may have a cardiac condition or are at risk for cardiac disease, download this risk assessment and consult your primary care physician.