Tom Cole came to the emergency department at Trios Health with tightness and pressure in his chest.
After an EKG reading, an angiogram was recommended. That procedure involved guiding a catheter tube through a blood vessel from the groin area toward the heart and injecting a dye to show if coronary arteries were blocked. In some cases, angiograms will reveal that a stent, or a wire mesh tube placed permanently into an artery to hold it open, is needed.
That wasn't the case for Cole, 71.
But had the Kennewick man required a stent, it could have been placed by a physician at Trios.
The hospital recently added interventional cardiology to its list of heart care offerings. Its interventional cardiologists repair blood vessels by placing stents and perform other procedures, from removing blood clots to getting rid of plaque.
Before last fall, patients could have diagnostic angiograms at Trios on South Auburn Street but then they'd have to go another facility -- such as Kadlec Regional Medical Center in Richland or a Spokane hospital -- for a procedure such as a stent.
The community is growing and "there's an increase in demand to have these services performed here," said Dr. Yunus Moosa, who's heading up Trios' interventional cardiology program.
"It's exciting that we can now have another site (in the area) that's able to do this life-saving (work)," added Brian Dury, cardiovascular services director.
About 150 interventional procedures have been performed at Trios since the program began last fall, including placing coronary stents and stents in other parts of the body, such as in the leg, officials said.
Adding emergent interventional cardiology to Trios' cardiac care offerings was a natural progression, said Glen Marshall, chief executive officer, in a statement. "With our state-of-the-art catherization lab, a patient presenting with chest pain in our emergency department, day or night, can be assured that the team is ready to care for their needs," he said.
Cardiac care was one of the areas in which Trios recently earned top marks from a nonprofit that accredits thousands of health care organizations and programs. The Joint Commission last year announced Trios was a Top Performer on Key Quality Measures in 2012 in heart failure care, pneumonia care and surgical care -- one of 10 hospitals in the state to earn recognition in one or more areas for that year, with the next closest being in Walla Walla.
Soon after Cole's angiogram at Trios Health, the Kennewick man was back in his hospital room, resting and talking with his daughter.
The angiogram was no sweat, and he felt no discomfort, he told the Herald. "They know what they're doing," he said.
-- Sara Schilling: 582-1529; email@example.com