Primary Angioplasty – A Life saving Procedure

Primary angioplasty is a term used to describe an angioplasty done as a life-saving emergency procedure in a patient with an on-going heart attack [PAMI – Primary Angioplasty in acute Myocardial Infarction].

The international accepted door to balloon time (time at which the patient reaches the hospital with on-going heart attack to the time actually the balloon opens the block and restores the blood flow to the muscles of the heart) intervention is within 90 minutes and 3 to 6 hours from the onset of heart attack for blockages need to be removed. Doing angioplasty in a critical patient of heart attack is in itself challenging and doing so in the critical window period adds to the challenge.

The importance of primary angioplasty

A heart attack, if not done within the golden period, weakens the hearts effecting quality of life of individual and often the family, making the drive to do a primary angioplasty all the more intense. Primary Angioplasty (PAMI) is the best form of therapy for an acute STEMI; world over. The success rate of primary angioplasty is more than 95 per cent when performed by experienced doctors in a hospital that can provide integrated expertise at short notice.

The Race with Time for Life

does-your-man-have-a-curfewA primary angioplasty has many challenges, from identification and evaluation of effected lesion, vessel access, lesion morphology, thrombus burden, to hemodynamics. This requires not only experts in interventional cardiology, but also more importantly a dedicated team of nurses, and cath lab technician who can react quickly to an emergency call, even during off hours. It calls dedication and commitment. With the patient at times reaching the emergency room late, and the time needed for counselling of the patient’s/relative’s for taking the decision, for the ER and cardiology team, the clock gets ticking and every second count.

Having a top class Emergency Service Centre with trained interventional cardiologist and intensive care specialists who can quickly make decisions and an efficient in-hospital patient pathway which gets patients to our cath lab extremely efficiently, with a competent (ALS-trained) team around them at all times.

It all begins of course with the involvement of the community, from the family physician to the ambulance services, nursing homes to create awareness and help the patient reach the Emergency Centre of K J Somaiya Hospital, where this level of care is made possible.

Contact our Cardiac Care experts for further information.


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