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-Cardiac Institute, Greeley, CO

Page history last edited by Madame Curious 13 years, 5 months ago


Cardiovascular Institute of Northern Colorado, Val Leal-Whitehead




What a fun week!  I got to spend the week at the CardioVascular Institute of North Colorado. This is a place where cardiologists [doctors who take care of the heart] work.  My first stop was in the nuclear medicine lab. A nuclear medicine lab is a place where radioactive particles, called radioisotopes, are used to help image the heart.  In one of my pictures I am standing next to the special vial that holds the isotopes. See the radioactive symbol!   In another picture you can see me lying beneath a large camera, called a gamma camera, which is like a big Geiger counter.  It takes pictures of the radioactive "radioisotopes" that are injected into a patient's blood.  The pictures are taken so that the cardiologist can determine if a person's heart needs more blood.

I also spent a day in the cardiac catheterization lab. In this area cardiologists, nurses and technicians take care of patients during a cardiac catheterization.  This is really a type of surgery, and it involves putting a needle into the femoral artery, and passing a small catheter through that needle, all the way up to the heart.  The catheter is in the aorta on the way to the heart. Once at the heart the dye is injected. It is also radioactive, so the doctors and nurses have to wear lead aprons to protect their body parts. The dye goes into the hearts arteries, and allows the cardiologist to see where there are blockages in the hearts arteries. You can see me lying on the special bed, and you can also see me standing next to the screen that shows the pictures of the heart's arteries.  Look at my cool face mask!  The mask is to prevent any infection from getting into the patients.

Comments (1)

Madame Curious said

at 2:55 pm on Nov 12, 2010

Hi Mrs. Leal Whitehead, We were reading your blog and were pretty impressed with all you do to protect people's hearts. We didn't like the idea of having a needle go in our femoral artery and then a tube going up through our bodies to our heart. Plus, if you wear a lead apron to protect you, what about the patient? It looked to us like Madame Curious was unprotected! We hope she is not now radioactive :-0 Anyway, her visit and writings made your work place sound what awesome, so were just kind of wondering...when do we get to visit?

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