New op available for heart attacks in Lincoln

People in Lincoln suffering a heart attack will now have access to a new emergency treatment at Lincoln County Hospital.

As of last week, the hospital has been offering Primary Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PPCI) for the life-theatening condition.

PPCI, also known as angioplasty, uses a balloon to unblock arteries for patients suffering severe attacks.

The procedure had been used previously, but only offered to a small number of urgent patients in the county.

Now PPCI will be offered during to any patient in the Lincoln area who comes to the hospital suffering from a major heart attack.

At present, the surgery is only available for patients from Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm, but the programme should expand to 24/7 over the next year.

PPCI Programme Manager Lisa Vickers said: “We only started providing angioplasty for elective patients two years ago.”

“We’d always been working towards making this a complete service, so that PPCI could be offered to all eligible heart attack patients within Lincolnshire, as it is much more effective than existing heart attack treatments.”

Before, angioplasty patients would be given blood clot-busting drugs to unblock the artery causing the heart attack.

PPCI is more effective than the drugs however, with the majority of patients becoming unblocked, against the clot-busting drug’s 60%.

Clinical Lead for PPCI, Consultant Interventional Cardiologist Dr David O’Brien, said: “PPCI represents the best available treatment for patients presenting with a heart attack.

“Developing a regional Heart Attack Centre for Lincolnshire will require considerable development of our existing service.

“We continue to work closely with the East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) to ultimately enable all patients across the county to have equitable access to PPCI.

“This is an extremely exciting development for cardiology services within ULHT and for Lincolnshire, the scale of which we are unlikely to see again in the foreseeable future.”

“The whole team feel privileged to be part of it,” he added.

Photo: Jeremy Brooks