At the October 5, 2021, Silver City Rotary Club meeting, Cardiologist Dr. Norman Ratliff gave a talk that brought insights to the audience about a unique diagnostic facility available at Gila Regional Medical Center and nowhere else in New Mexico: the CT (Computerized Tomography) scanner used, among other things, for CT Coronary Angiography. Dr. Ratliff pointed out that CT coronary angiography is a state-of-the-art diagnostic method that far surpasses other methodologies in its ability to diagnose coronary artery disease.

Dr. Ratliff said that heart disease is the predominant cause of death in the United States, even exceeding cancer and accounting for more deaths than accidents, respiratory disease and stroke combined. He noted that a CT Coronary Angiogram can provide a high-resolution picture of the coronary arteries using a non-invasive approach. It can pinpoint coronary artery blockages that are often missed by other diagnostic methods, such as stress echocardiograms or even cardiac catheterization.

According to Dr. Ratliff, greater use of CT coronary angiography, both here in Silver City and elsewhere, could greatly reduce the death rate due to heart disease by allowing early intervention to address blockage of coronary arteries. Thanks to the availability of the CT scanner at Gila Regional Medical Center, Dr. Ratliff feels that our area is well positioned to becoming a leader in reducing the incidence of heart-related deaths.