[T]he Heart Centre at the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle has reached the milestone of the 100th patient taking part in a five-year national clinical study looking at if ‘conditioning’ the heart improves the outlook for people following a heart attack.
Currently, the best way to reduce damage after a heart attack and improve chances of survival is to restore blood flow to the heart muscle using a treatment called primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PPCI). However, this process is not completely risk-free as restoring blood to the heart quickly can cause damage to the heart muscle.
The ‘Effect of Remote Ischaemic Condition on clinical outcomes in heart attack patients undergoing Primary Percutaneous Coronary Intervention’ (ERIC-PPCI) study is investigating if conditioning the heart using a blood pressure cuff method, repeatedly restricting and restoring the blood flow, reduces damage caused to the heart muscle in a heart attack, and if it improves survival and prevents heart failure developing.
Dr Madhusudhan Varma, consultant Interventional cardiologist at North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “This simple and cheap treatment could reveal a new way to help reduce the risk of heart failure and improve the chances of survival after a heart attack. It has the potential to globally change the way heart attacks are treated and reduce the number of hospital admissions for heart failure in the longer term.”
North Cumbria’s Heart Centre at the Cumberland Infirmary is one of 30 UK hospitals taking part in the five year study.