Mr D was admitted to Derriford from home, by ambulance, following an acute myocardial infarction. He accessed the new Primary Angioplasty service and received a live-saving angioplasty, in the cardiac catheterisation laboratory within 49 minutes of arriving at hospital.
Mr D was at home with his wife eating their dinner, when he complained to his wife of indigestion. He took an anti-indigestion tablet but it didn't relive the pain. His condition deteriorated and his wife dialled 999 on the advice of their GP.
The ambulance arrived within ten minutes, an electrocardiogram was performed and sent directly to Torcross coronary care unit via the mobimed. Mr D was taken to Derriford and his wife followed by car. During the transfer, staff were getting ready for his arrival.
In the emergency department he was met by a nurse from Torcross and a cardiology registrar. Mr D was then transferred straight to the catheterisation laboratory where a stent was inserted within 49 minutes of his arrival. Mrs D arrived at Derriford shortly afterwards and was escorted to Torcross ward.
Mr D was discharged home three days later, a reduction in average length of hospital stay after a heart attack by two days. Developments to the service are ever ongoing, and reducing the time, from ‘call for help to balloon’, is a daily challenge. Since the launch of the service on October 5th Derriford has been consistently above the national target, from ‘call to balloon time’.
Monthly Primary Angioplasty meetings are conducted to iron out any issues and review data collection and attended by all areas involved including consultant cardiologists, South West Ambulance Service, Emergency Department, Catheterisation laboratory and Torcross staff. Work is constantly in progress to reassess and improve the patient pathway.
Speaking to Mr D on the telephone 6 weeks following his procedure, he had nothing but praise for all those involved in his treatment and care at Derriford. He took it upon himself to write a letter to Paul Roberts, Chief Executive of Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust expressing his thanks.
Acute myocardial infarctions (Heart attacks) are caused by blood clots blocking one of the arteries carrying blood and oxygen to the heart muscle. In the worst cases, the artery is completely blocked and damage to the heart muscle can be severe and potentially fatal. Until recently, standard treatment in such cases has been clot-busting drugs which break down the blood clot to restore blood-flow.
Unfortunately, clot busters fail to open the blocked artery in up to 40% of cases. In contrast, opening up the blocked artery by angioplasty is successful in over 90% of cases. Recent studies have confirmed that primary angioplasty leads to better survival for heart attack patients provided that the procedure can be done quickly enough.