Myocardial infarction, or heart attack, is a leading cause of death in both men and women. Every minute is critical when someone is having a heart attack; the faster the treatment the better the outcome. Since 2011, Cabrini has used a purpose-designed protocol to treat heart attacks, known as ST elevation myocardial infarction or STEMI. The STEMI system allows patients to be treated quickly and effectively with a balloon catheter and a stent, unblocking their coronary arteries within 90 minutes of arriving at hospital.
TAVI is a minimally invasive surgical procedure for people with severe aortic stenosis, an abnormal narrowing of the aortic valve which restricts blood flow to the heart. The procedure is suitable for elderly people with co-morbidities such as kidney dysfunction or previous heart attacks who cannot undergo open heart surgery. Sufferers experience breathlessness, fainting, difficulty with physical activities due to breathing problems and chest pain.
The heart’s mitral valve has an important role to play in helping to control blood flow through the heart. Regurgitation occurs when there is a backflow of blood from the heart’s left ventricle to the left atrium. Its cause is the failure of the mitral valve to seal shut. If left untreated the heart can no longer pump enough blood around the body.
Whether patients have degenerative mitral regurgitation, caused by damage to the mitral valve leaflets, or functional caused by a heart attack or heart failure, the only treatment options have been medication to treat symptoms or open-heart surgery to repair or replace the valve depending on the severity.
The Mitraclip system is now a third option. It uses a thin flexible tube, or catheter, which is guided through the femoral vein in the leg to the heart. The Mitraclip itself is fed through the tube to attach directly to the mitral valve where it clips the valve’s leaflets together allowing the heart to pump blood more efficiently.