About Amy Umble:
Amy Umble is health reporter for The Free Lance-Star

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Stafford opens cath lab

Stafford HospitalStafford Hospital opened its cardiac cath lab Wednesday. Drs. Khalid Abousy of Virginia Cardiovascular Care and Sajad Mir of Virginia Cardiovascular Consultants did one procedure each.

For the time being, the lab is doing diagnostic procedures only. Patients are transferred to Mary Washington Hospital for treatment if problems are found. The hospital is not sure when it will begin full operation of the lab.

The lab is the second in the area, after Mary Washington. In a cath lab, a doctor passes a thin tube into the heart of the patient, usually from an incision in the groin. X-ray images help the doctor see blockages or other problems.