Bennie Kyle didn’t realize that his trip to the cardiac catheterization (cath) lab at Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla would be such a momentous occasion. Kyle, 58, became the lab’s 50,000th patient on Thursday, Aug. 14, giving it the distinction of being the first hospital in San Diego County to reach that number.
The cath lab is used to perform coronary angiography, an X-ray examination of the blood vessels or chambers of the heart. A very small tube (catheter) is inserted into a blood vessel in your groin or arm. The tip of the tube is positioned either in the heart or at the beginning of the arteries supplying the heart, and a special fluid (called a contrast medium or dye) is injected. This fluid is visible by X-ray, and the pictures that are obtained are called angiograms.
Kyle, who lives in Encanto with his wife Myrna, has four children and eight grandchildren. The San Diego native is a retired referee for high school and college basketball games and now works as an usher at San Diego Charger games. Harris Effron, MD, who performed the procedure on Mr. Kyle, cath lab manager Brenda Boone, RN; Richard Fortuna, MD; and Maurice Buchbinder, MD; co-directors of the lab, presented him with a gift basket that included an engraved heart-shaped paperweight, a Scripps blanket and Scripps baseball cap.
Scripps La Jolla was named this year by U.S. News & World Report one America’s Best Hospitals for cardiac care. In addition to performing a wide-range of cardiothoracic surgical procedures, the hospital boasts a cardiac treatment center, a full range of electrophysiology services, and is home to the one of the busiest catheterization labs in Southern California. Scripps La Jolla was also one of the first sites in the nation to utilize the new drug-eluting stent and has performed more than 450 procedures since the life-saving device received approval from the FDA in April.