Cardiology and Respiratory Outpatient Services

The TSB Bank Cardiology Suite is located on the ground floor near the hospitals main entrance.

The Cardiology and Respiratory Service has responsibility the following diagnostic tests. Many of these tests are undertaken in the Cardiology and Respiratory Department and some are undertaken in other departments of the hospital.

 

Cardiac Diagnostic Tests and Services

Echocardiogram (Echo)
This is an ultrasound scan of the heart called a Transthoracic Echocardiogram (TTE). It assesses the structure, function and size of your heart. A small hand held transducer, which sends out sound waves, is moved across your chest after gel has been applied. The transducer picks up the reflected sound waves and sends them to a computer which interprets the sound waves into an image of the heart walls and valves. The test takes up to 45 mins and is performed by a cardiac sonographer. Echocardiograms are undertaken at the Taranaki Base Hospital only.

Transoesophageal Echocardiogram (TOE)
The patient is sedated and the transducer is inserted into the oesophagus. The transducer emits sound waves to the heart. The reflected soundwaves are then interpreted by the echo machine, forming pictures of the heart. The patient needs to fast before the procedure. The test can take up to 45 mins and is performed by the cardiologist with assistance from the cardiac sonographer and nurse. TOE procedures are undertaken at the Taranaki Base Hospital only.

Exercise Tolerance Test (ETT)
An Exercise Tolerance Test can show cardiovascular abnormalities not present at rest and determines adequacy of cardiac function with exercise. It involves walking on a treadmill whilst a continuous ECG and BP are attached to the patient and monitored. Every three minutes the slope and speed of the treadmill increases. Changes in the ECG may indicate the presence of coronary artery disease. The test takes 30 minutes and is performed by a doctor or cardiac nurse practitioner with a cardiac physiologist or cardiac nurse. ETT is undertaken at the Hawera Hospital and Taranaki Base Hospital.

Holter Monitoring
A Holter Monitor is a portable device that is worn for 24 or 48 hours and records the patient’s heart rate and rhythm. The purpose of having the monitor is to determine if there are any cardiac arrhythmias present. ECG electrodes are attached to the patient’s chest with wires attached to the portable holter monitor. It takes 10 minutes to fit the monitor, the patient then removes the monitor and returns it the next day. The 24 or 48 hour recording is then downloaded onto a computer and analysed by the cardiac physiologist. Holter monitoring is undertaken at the Hawera Hospital and Taranaki Base Hospital.

Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitoring (ABPM)
A Blood Pressure Monitor is a portable device that records your everyday blood pressure for 24 hours, every 30 minutes during the day and every hour during the night. It takes 10 minutes to fit the device the patient then removes the device and returns it the next day. The 24 hour recording is then downloaded onto a computer. ABPM are undertaken at Hawera Hospital and Taranaki Base Hospital.

Event Recorder Monitoring (EVR)
An Event Recorder is a portable device that monitors a patient’s heart rate and rhythm. Patients are instructed to activate the monitor to record their heart rate when they are having symptoms. The device can record up to five patient events. ECG electrodes are attached to the patient’s chest. It takes 10 minutes to attach the monitor, the patient then returns the monitor when the device is full or a week later. The recordings are downloaded onto a computer and analysed by the cardiac physiologist. EVR are undertaken at the Taranaki Base Hospital only.

Myocardial Perfusion Scan (CPS & PPS)
This is to assess the supply of blood to the heart and to determine whether there is a difference under rest and stress. These scans are based on physical stress either on a treadmill (Stress Perfusion Scan) or, if the patient is unable to use the treadmill, chemicals are infused to stress the heart (Chemical Perfusion Scan). During the infusion the patient is monitored in the Cardiology and Respiratory Outpatients Department. The patient must be monitored while receiving the infusion. The scanning is carried out in Radiology’s Nuclear Medicine Department. CPS and PPS are undertaken at the Taranaki Base Hospital only.

Cardioversion
Cardioversion can restore an abnormal heart rhythm and is a frequently recommended procedure for patients with atrial fibrillation. It is carried out under a brief general anaesthetic or sedation. A small electric shock is delivered via adhesive pads on the chest. In most patients, this normalises the heart rhythm. Advantages are improved quality of life for the patient, fewer acute admissions for patients when compromised by their condition. Cardioversions are undertaken at the Taranaki Base Hospital only.

Coronary Angiogram
This test is performed by a cardiologist with a nurse. A special dye is injected into the arteries around the heart under a local anaesthetic and x-rays are taken. The dye shows up on the x-rays revealing the arteries and the presence of any narrowing or blockages. Your doctor or pre admission cardiac nurse will explain the risks and benefits of your treatment options and answer any questions you or your family may have. Coronary Angiograms are undertaken at the Taranaki Base Hospital only.

Pacemaker Follow up
Pacemaker follow up checks are for patients who have been fitted with a pacemaker or implantable cardiac device (ICD). Pacemaker and ICD follow up appointments are undertaken to check that the pacemaker is optimally programmed as well as checking the battery life of the device. The checks usually take 20 minutes and are performed by the cardiac physiologist. Pacemaker follow up appointments are undertaken at the Taranaki Base Hospital only.

Implantable Loop Recorder Follow up
Implantable loop recorder follow up checks are for patients who have been fitted with a loop recorder. The implantable loop recorder check enables the physiologist to download data from the device and look for any abnormalities and correlate any symptoms to arrhythmias (abnormal heart rhythm). The checks usually take 20 minutes and are performed by the cardiac physiologist. Implantable loop recorder follow up appointments are undertaken at the Taranaki Base Hospital only.

Tilt Table Testing
This is a diagnostic test for syncope (faint). The patient is gradually tilted from a lying down position to an upright position, initially with no medication then with medication (glyceryl trinitrate), which requires close monitoring. This diagnostic procedure can take up to two hours plus some recovery time. This is performed in the intensive care unit/coronary care unit. Tilt tables are undertaken at the Taranaki Base Hospital only.

Cardiac Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNS)
The cardiac CNS specialise in working with cardiac patients and their families providing education ongoing staff education and health promotion. This includes addressing risk factors for heart disease, promoting healthy lifestyle changes and supporting people through cardiac events, interventions and surgery. Patients are seen in hospital, in their homes, in clinic settings and contacted by telephone. They liaise with Taranaki DHB multidisciplinary teams and Waikato Cardiac Services.

The CNS co-ordinates the Cardiac Rehabilitation Group sessions and works in liaison with the Taranaki DHB cardiac physiotherapist, general practitioners, local cardiac support groups and the National Health Foundation. The service is Taranaki wide with clinics in New Plymouth, Stratford and Hawera and Waitara.

 

Respiratory Diagnostic Tests and Services

Full Lung Volumes (FLV), Spirometry, DLCO and Saline challenge tests
These tests as also known as breathing tests and measure how well your lungs are working. The Spirometry is one of the most common tests and measures how much air you can inhale and exhale. It also measures how fast you can empty the air out of your lungs. Spirometry tests can be done in north Taranaki or South Taranaki. FLV, DLCO and Saline challenge tests are undertaken at the Taranaki Base Hospital only.

Bronchoscopy
This is a test that allows the physician to look inside your lungs, look at your voice box and your throat. A long tub called a bronchoscopy is passed through your mouth into your airways (trachea) and into your lungs. The test is performed by a respiratory physician with a nurse and is undertaken in the Endoscopy (day ward) at Taranaki Base Hospital.

Respiratory Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNS)
The respiratory CNS specialises in working with respiratory patients and their families providing education ongoing staff education and health promotion. This includes addressing risk factors of respiratory disease, promoting healthy lifestyle changes and supporting people with chronic and complex respiratory conditions, interventions and surgery. Patients are seen in hospital, in their homes, clinic settings and contacted by telephone. The service is Taranaki wide with clinics in New Plymouth, Stratford, Hawera and Waitara.

The respiratory CNS coordinates the Pulmonary Rehabilitation Group sessions and works in liaison with the Taranaki DHB cardiac physiotherapist, general practitioners and local respiratory support groups and clubs. The respiratory CNS manages all community oxygen requests and community oxygen issues. The service is Taranaki wide with clinics in New Plymouth, Stratford and Hawera.

 

Contact us:

Cardiology and Respiratory Outpatients Department, Base Hospital, New Plymouth
Phone 06 753 6139 ext 7488

Cardiac Clinical Nurse Specialist - North and South Taranaki
Phone 06 753 6139 Ext 7590

Respiratory Clinical Nurse Specialist - North Taranaki
Phone 06 7536139 Ext 7323

Respiratory Clinical Nurse Specialist - South Taranaki
Phone 06 753 6139 Ext 6716

 

 

 

 

Last updated: Tuesday, July 10, 2018

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