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First Radial Artery Catheterization Performed at CHRISTUS St. Catherine Hospital

When Katy resident Dean Brooks began experiencing chest discomfort on Aug. 7, he wasn’t thinking about what type of catheterization he might undergo. Like most patients, he only wanted to know he would get the best care possible. It was fortunate for him that CHRISTUS St. Catherine Hospital in Katy is now offering radial catheterization, a state-of-the-art procedure for diagnosing and treating arterial conditions that is typically available only in major medical centers. The catheterization, performed by cardiologist José G. Díez, MD was the first of its kind performed in the Katy area.

Radial artery catheterization is a form of cardiac catheterization, the insertion of a catheter into a chamber or vessel of the heart, that access a patient’s arterial system through the wrist. It is increasingly being used for the diagnosis and treatment of arterial conditions such as coronary artery disease (heart attack, arterial blockages), heart failure, valvular and peripheral arterial disease. For years, the standard process for catheterization has involved accessing the arterial system through the upper leg (in a process known as femoral artery catheterization), but radial catheterization is becoming more popular because patients tend to experience fewer complications (such as excessive bleeding, nerve trauma), greater comfort and shorter recovery times than with the femoral procedure. In several studies the radial artery approach has been associated with better long term outcomes. Overall, it is a safer alternative when compared to femoral access with same effectiveness.

After a prompt evaluation in the Emergency Room at CHRISTUS St. Catherine Hospital, it was found that Brooks was not having a heart attack. A stress test was performed last to evaluate the presence of ischemia (lack of blood flow). The results came back abnormal, therefore warranting a cardiac catheterization. During the testing invaluable information was obtained in order to treat him medically and modify his risk factors now, in order to prevent the need for adverse events in the future (heart attacks, need for stents or surgery). Immediately after the procedure, the plastic catheters were removed and Brooks was able to ambulate.

“It is really gratifying to be performing this advanced procedure at CHRISTUS St. Catherine Hospital, where patients can be diagnosed and treated close to home and near their families,” says Dr. Díez. “I’m delighted with how well Mr. Brooks is doing and look forward to offering radial artery catheterization to more patients in the Katy area.”

“Experiencing chest pains is a really scary experience,” says Brooks, “so it was especially comforting to know I had access to one of the latest procedures.  I’m grateful to Dr. Diez and all the wonderful people at CHRISTUS St. Catherine Hospital.”

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CHRSITUS St. Catherine Nurse Deborah Stelly, left, with CHRISTUS patient Dean Brooks. Brooks was one of the first in Katy to benefit from the hospital's new radial catheterization procedure for patients with arterial conditions. Credit: CHRISTUS St. Catherine Hospital.

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