Healthy Living: Cardiac catherization
Each year, millions of cardiac catherizations are performed. Our Marcie Fraser tells us about a new technique that is saving lives, and makes it easier and safer.
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According to the American Heart Association, every 25 seconds someone has a heart attack, and that's what happened to Jeffrey McFee.
"I had sharp pain in my chest, like it was 10, it went down my arm," said McFee, cardiac patient.
He almost didn't make it.
"What causes a heart attack is plaque inside the artery, it actually ruptures and when it ruptures inside of an artery the body wants to heal itself, so the body sends clotting factors to that area and a clot grows and forms it will continue to grow and not stop and block the artery," explained Dr. Michael Martinelli, Interventional Cardiologist.
Quick removal of a clot can be the difference between life or death which can be done with a thrombectomy catheter. In previous generations, catheters along with suction, remove the clot, but they were hallow and prone to kinking.
"If the catheter is somewhat flimsy or tends to attach itself to the wall of the artery, it will reduce suction, so you want to have the opening free," said Dr. Martinelli.
Well, new on the horizon, which doesn't kink is Priority One, an aspiration catheter that is stainless steel and fully braided, which minimizes kinking and provides excellent pushability through the clots.
Dr. Martinelli added, "This actually gives you the ability to pass it though a blockage without destroying the aspiration capability of the catheter."
Just last night in the case of McFee, Priority One was used to save his life, using a safe and fast procedure. It has been less than 24 hours since the procedure, and both the doctor and the patient are pleased with the outcome.
"The easiest device is a simple device and I think it is easy to use and the benefits are significant and it translates to faster procedures and safer procedures," noted Dr. Martinelli.
McFee added, "I feel pretty good. I was surprised how fast they did it yesterday. I feel like going out to work today. "