CIS Physicians at LGMC are First to Use New Technology

3/11/2013

Lafayette General Medical Center is the first hospital in the area to adopt a new technology that saves heart muscle during heart attacks. Traditional methods during cardiac catheterizations restore blood flow to the heart, but the procedure itself can cause damage to the heart muscle. Patients are typically provided with IV medication during and following the procedure to protect the patient. After the procedure, blood thinners are prescribed to dissolve clots and to prevent new clots from forming inside the stent. However, recent data suggests one in two patients do not fill necessary prescriptions, which can lead to readmission and possibly a subsequent heart attack.


Dr. Nick Cavros is the Primary Investigator of a nationwide registry looking at this technology to review the impact of using ClearWay™ RX on reducing 30-day readmissions for heart attack patients. The ClearWay™ RX, manufactured by Atrium Medical Corporation, is a drug-delivery balloon that delivers traditional medications used during interventional procedures directly into the blocked artery. "This is a special porous balloon that allows infusion of medication locally at the point of blockage and clot, allowing for quicker dissolving of the clot and improved flow downstream in the tiny arteries in the heart muscle,” Dr. Cavros explained. "This device has been shown in randomized clinical trials to significantly decrease heart attack size, and it may decrease the 30-day readmission rate after heart attack,” said Dr. Cavros.


The purpose of the registry is to confirm earlier studies which found that using this specialized drug delivery balloon to treat heart attacks decreased the number of readmissions. Nationally, 1 in 6 patients are readmitted to the hospital within 30 days after their initial procedure. The government has instituted significant financial penalties for the hospital if readmissions are not reduced.


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