New Radial Catheterization Lounge

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MEDFORD, Ore. — Providence Medford Medical Center is remodeling its short stay unit and turning it into a radial lounge.

New technology is making it quicker and easier for doctors to perform a medical procedure called cardiac catheterization.

Doctors used to go in through the groin area, but now catheters are smaller and doctors are able to insert the medical instrument through the wrist.

With the radial catheterization process, patients recover almost immediately following the procedure.

They can recover sitting up, and recovery time is only two or three hours.  However, before this was not the case.  When doctors were performing the procedure through the groin, patients had a four to six hour recovery time.  They had to recover lying on their back, completely still. Sometimes sandbags even had to be used to hold patients’ legs down and keep them from moving.

For the past couple years, Providence has been using a process called “radial first.” This is where doctors consider inserting the catheter through the wrist as their first approach, and use the groin procedure as back up.

Providence is improving the process even more. A board recently decided all of the money from the Festival of Trees this year will be go to a new radial lounge where radial catheterization patients will go to recover.

“Putting in some nice furniture, redoing the flooring, removing some walls, so that it is more open and comfortable,” said Katie Shepard, Executive Director of the Providence Community Health Foundation.

The current recovery area has seats encased in glass doors.  The new recovery area is being made to look more like a hotel suite and less like a hospital.

The remodeling will take place in the current short stay unit, and construction is set to being following the Festival of Trees. The project is estimated to cost $400,000.  There is no completion date set for the project.