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What is a C-arm?


February 8, 2023 - equipment, Hospital Family Story, Stories

What is a C-arm?

William Osler Health System is home to two Cardiac Catheterization Labs (Cath Labs) where a team of cardiologists and other cardiac professionals provide 24/7 emergency care. The labs are used to provide care for patients with a variety of heart conditions and can be used to diagnose heart problems with angiograms or can be used for life-saving treatments like angioplasty.

The labs consist of specialized equipment that allows Osler’s dedicated health care teams to visualize a patient’s coronary arteries under an x-ray machine. This machine is called the C-arm.

Patients are placed on a surgical table in the Cath lab by Osler’s skilled nurses, then the Cardiac Interventionalist inserts a small thin tube in the patient’s wrist (radial artery) or upper leg (femoral artery). Injectors are used to fill the heart’s arteries with dye so that blockages can be seen using the C-arm. If a significant blockage is found, tests can be done to check the severity, or a stent will be put in to open up the artery.

Osler serves communities with some of the country's highest burdens of cardiovascular disease. Having access to the Cath lab and the C-arm means Osler is able to respond quickly when a patient is having a critical cardiac event and gives our health care teams the ability to diagnose and treat often life-threatening heart disease.

Help ensure our Health Care Heroes have access to the life-saving equipment they need. Donate today!