A NOVEL CONCEPT
RESCUES HEARTS, SAVES LIVES
Heart attack patients can now get sophisticated treatment in half the usual time. Editors at Time magazine were impressed. So are we. Just look under “E” (for electrocardiogram) in their article titled, “The Year in Medicine from A to Z,” published December 3, 2007.
Bluetooth technology and dedicated e-mail servers helped cut "door-to-intervention time" (D2I) drastically, putting this team in the top 10 to 20 percent nationally. Sixty-five patients have already benefited. "This is a paradigm shift," says Marc Klapholz, who heads up the 12-person team, all of whom receive the data via smart phones, although only one is "on-call" at any given time. Obviously he's not exaggerating. The Society of Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions awarded them the year's "best abstract for enhancing the quality of patient care," calling the work a "breakthrough." Their paper was published in July 2007 by The Journal of the American College of Cardiology, the premier clinical cardiology journal in the world. The Associated Press also covered the story, with Yahoo picking it up and transmitting it worldwide.
This medical leap resulted from a clinical trial (STAT-MI) that tested a new "framework" for treating heart patients. Novel therapies must always be scrutinized in approved, formal tests to clearly demonstrate an improvement over standard procedure. Klapholz continues to challenge current practices with the goal of saving more lives. Thirteen cardiology trials are currently ongoing. Eleven test new pharmaceuticals, or new combinations of drugs, to either prevent or treat cardiac disease; one studies an approach to fixing a congenital heart defect that may head off recurrent stroke; another looks at heart failure in minority populations.