The PPCI team at Lincoln County Hospital.
Heart services at Lincoln County Hospital are set to expand further after a £4.3 million investment.
The second phase of the expansion plans to improve the primary angioplasty service — surgery which involves inserting a small balloon into the heart to clear a blocked artery, a common cause of heart attacks. A metal scaffold is then put in the artery to keep it open.
The treatment is also known as PPCI (Primary Percutaneous Coronary Intervention) and is the preferred method to help people with heart attacks.
Lincoln County hospital began offering the treatment a year ago to local patients and 90 people so far have benefitted the service.
However, with the new expansion, more people from a larger catchment area will be able to use the service when the centre opens.
The new 24/7 heart centre will be double the size of the current one, as well as have more specialist staff on hand.
Dr David O’Brien, Consultant Interventional Cardiologist at ULHT said: “The current heart centre has been really effective.
“In addition to providing an emergency PPCI service, in the last year alone the catheter laboratory has also carried out over 500 elective and inpatient angioplasty procedures; more than 1000 angiograms and implanted around 150 pacemakers for patients across the county.
“We must open up the emergency PPCI service to people across Lincolnshire, rather than just in the Lincoln area.
“Time is of the essence in clearing an artery once it is blocked. It is important to save as much heart muscle as possible and limit damage to the heart.
“PPCI saves lives and results in a faster recovery process and shorter hospital stay compared to alternative treatment which uses clot-busting drugs.”
While the new centre is erected, a temporary heart centre will be in operation from 2012, while a permanent short-stay specialist uni will also be opened early next year.