Lake Macquarie Private Hospital
Part of Ramsay Health Care

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Emergency patient accidentally achieves major heart milestone at Lake Macquarie Private Hospital

Apr 24, 2019

A woman showing signs of heart attack has unintentionally become the 8,000th patient to undergo a bypass procedure at Lake Macquarie Private Hospital – coinciding with the lead-up to Heart Week 2019.

The cardiac milestone case was originally scheduled for another non-urgent patient, but the woman who required emergency bypass surgery had to be treated before the pre-planned case.

Senior cardiothoracic surgeon Dr Allen James, who performed the 8000th procedure, was also working at the hospital 25 years ago when the first cardiac bypass was undertaken.

“8,000 is a fairly big number for a regional hospital in Australia. But we just concentrated on the operating, like we do in every case,” Dr James said.

“We’ve got a wonderful unit; I’m still working with people who were involved with the first cardiac cases here at the hospital.”

The scrub nurse who assisted in the 8000th case, Sharon Scotman, also assisted during the first case back in 1994 alongside senior clinical perfusionist Ray Swart.

Many of the intensive care specialists and nursing staff have also been at Lake Macquarie Private Hospital since the service was first offered.

“I think Newcastle people are very loyal, they are loyal to the city and they are also loyal to the unit they work at and it is a unit of excellence really,” Dr James said.

“The unit includes anaesthesia, perfusion, ICU, ward and theatre staff as well as cardiology and cath lab staff. It’s a great team,” Dr James said.

Lake Macquarie Private Hospital is owned and operated by Ramsay Health Care, Australia’s largest private hospital operator. Ramsay’s Australian facilities admit about 42,000 cardiology patients per year.

Heart Week 2019 runs from 28 April to 4 May. This year’s focus is on understanding risk factors for heart disease and taking the right steps to reduce this risk.