Advanced Cardiac Catheterization Lab 

North Shore Medical Center (Miami) is Florida's newest
Level I Adult Cardiovascular Services Hospital

North Shore Medical Center has been designated as a receiving facility by the Agency for Health Care Administration for coronary intervention (PCI). The importance of a Level I Adult Cardiovascular Services hospital in our community means that our hospital can administer emergency or elective percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), a mechanical means of treating heart attack patients, or coronary artery occlusions.

According to the American Heart Association, we have the expertise, equipment, facilities and other resources to administer percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). This means that residents living in and around our community will no longer have to be transported out of the area miles from their home to receive emergency or elective heart care. This is a critical factor for saving heart muscle and providing quick and convenient care.

Our Cardiac Response

Patients experiencing cardiac symptoms can be seen by our physician or come into our Emergency Room for evaluation and first line treatment; an EKG (electrocardiogram) is performed, as well as other diagnostic tests to evaluate your heart health. The results will indicate if a cardiac catheterization procedure is immediately needed or if the cardiac diagnostic catheterization can be scheduled on an outpatient bases.

However, if you as the patient is deemed a candidate for cardiac intervention, you will be taken to the Cath Lab located across the hallway from the Emergency Room Department where an Interventional Cardiologist works with the team to insert a catheter, balloon, and/or deploy a stent to unblock and restore proper blood flow to the heart, if needed.

Cardiac Information

The National Accreditation for Cardiovascular Excellence, and the American Heart Association (NACE/AHA), set the guidelines and the national standard to intervene in any case where a patient’s cardiac vessel(s) are diagnosis to be blocked, and they set the measures for intervention to open the blocked vessel(s). These guidelines here at North Shore Medical Center are our quality standards and practice measure.

What is Cardiac Catheterization?

Cardiac Catheterization (Cath) is a specialized study of the heart during which a catheter, or thin hollow flexible tube, is inserted into the artery of the groin or arm. Under x-ray visualization, the tip of the catheter is guided to the heart.

Pressures are measured and an x-ray Angiogram (Angio) movie of the heart and blood vessels are obtained while injecting an iodinated colorless "dye" or contrast material through the catheter.

Coronary angios are obtained by injecting the contrast material into the opening or mouth of a coronary artery. The iodinated solution blocks the passage of x-rays. X-ray movie pictures taken during the injection of the contrast material allow the coronary arteries to be visualized. In other words, coronary arteries are not visible on x-ray film. However, they can be made temporarily visible by filling the coronary artery with a contrast solution that blocks x-ray.


Cardiologists and staff have access to innovative technology that can extend treatment capabilities and reduce risks. Our fully digital computerized advanced X-ray system enables physicians to capture and view detailed 3D images of a patient’s cardiac vasculature, thereby facilitating faster and more accurate diagnosis and treatment of cardiac disease. It also means less radiation exposure for the patient.

For a free physician referral, please call 1-800-984-3434.