Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI), a new life-saving heart treatment will start in north Cumbria in May.
This is a much-awaited service in the region, since patients had to travel to Newcastle, Middlesbrough or Blackpool to receive specialist angioplasty treatment. A team of experts concluded that easy access to cardiac care would come from offering the treatment in Carlisle. Now, it has been finalized that the Cumberland Infirmary would be the centre for this service. Two cardiologists, Dr Jaroslav Kajzr and Dr Roger Moore will both be based at the Cumberland Infirmary.
An expected number of 700 patients would be benefited by this procedure each year. Angioplasty works by inserting and inflating a small balloon into the artery to get rid of any blockage. A rigid support is then left in place to restore blood flow. This procedure becomes necessary when hardening and narrowing of the coronary arteries prevents the heart from getting enough blood to function normally. At present, thrombolysis, the injection of clot-busting drugs, is the most common treatment for heart attack patients. But PCI has been adjudged to be the better treatment option by a national report.
It is expected that the service would develop into a 'primary' PCI service giving immediate care to patients who have had a heart attack. Doctors hope that more specialist services like this can be established in Cumbria so that patients no longer have to travel outside the county each year for medical procedures.