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February 14, 2017- DMC Heart Hospital Leadership Joins Unprecedented Collaboration by Metro Detroit Cardiologists to Increase Heart Attack Survival Rate
Upholding a long-established tradition of breakthrough medicine in southeast Michigan, DMC Heart Hospital President Theodore Schreiber, MD, and DMC Heart Hospital Vice President Cindy L. Grines, MD, joined cardiologists from five metro Detroit health systems to increase residents’ survival rate from heart attacks. The Detroit Cardiogenic Shock Initiative doubled survival rates in patients experiencing a life-threatening side-effect to a heart attack. The initiative addresses cardiogenic shock, a devastating complication of heart attacks. In these patients, the pump function of the heart is severely depressed, causing low blood pressure and vital organs to be deprived of sufficient blood supply. Despite contemporary treatments, about 50% of patients experiencing the condition die. The health systems participating in the Initiative have agreed to use a heart pump the size of a drinking straw to keep blood pumping throughout the body. The Impella pump, an FDA-approved device, is inserted through a catheter in the groin into the heart as soon as the patient arrives at the hospital. Doctors then treat the cause of the heart attack, either inserting a stent, removing a clot or taking other necessary action while the tiny pump supports circulation in the rest of the body. The key difference with this initiative is that the Impella system is placed before standard treatment to fix the blocked artery. Dr. Schreiber spoke on the encouraging results of the initiative at a press conference on February 8, 2017. “Since the initiative began in July 2016, doctors at the participating hospitals found the approach was the most appropriate way to treat 30 patients who were having a heart attack and showing signs of cardiogenic shock,” Schreiber reported. “While these findings are quite preliminary, they are very exciting because for the first time in a few decades we’ve found a way to save lives.” “This is a very dramatic accomplishment,” Schreiber added, saying “thousands” of lives can be saved if the practices from the initiative are adopted as best practices in cardiac care nationwide. Cardiologists have been trying to move the needle on heart attack survival rate for years. Dr. Schreiber emphasized that early circulatory support is critical to improve the chance of a successful outcome in these critically ill patients. Cardiologists in southeast Michigan have been long-standing leaders in developing new heart treatments. As reported at the conference, cardiology programs in Boston, Los Angeles and other cities in the United States are following the initiative closely, to replicate for patients there.
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