Bradford first hospital in world to use new heart attack machine
Bradford Teaching Hospitals is set to become the first hospital in world to introduce a revolutionary new cardiac device which doctors hope will alert them immediately to whether a patient is having a heart attack.
Currently it can take up to 12 hours to confirm if a person has suffered a myocardial infarction (heart attack) but the new Heartscape cardiac vest will provide medics with an instant 360 degree view of the heart by placing 80 electrical sensors on to the patient’s chest and back. This 3-dimenstional computer image provides medics with a more accurate picture of the organ than any other machine currently available.
World cardiology expert, Professor W Frank Peacock, professor of emergency medicine at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, will spend two days at the Bradford Royal Infirmary (February 20 & 21) training staff on how to use the new device in advance of it being available to patients from March 2012.
Bradford medics have been keen to obtain the vest for use after large scale trials in the USA showed that it can immediately diagnose more life-threatening heart attacks compared to conventional 2-D equipment.
The city has one of the highest rates of coronary heart disease (CHD) in England.
Consultant physician and Foundation Trust project lead, Dr James Dunbar, said: “CHD is a big concern in Bradford as we have one of the highest death tolls in the country. We think this may be partly due to our large South Asian population who have a 50% higher chance of developing the disease compared to the general population.
“Current conventional 2D electrocardiograph machines are insensitive for diagnosis of heart disease. Using blood tests it often takes us more than 12 hours to exclude a heart attack.
“This new Heartscape vest, on the other hand, will help us gain an instant in-depth 3D view of the heart, making it easier to interpret whether a patient is having a heart attack, enabling treatment to start earlier and hopefully lead to improved patient outcomes.”
The vest will be available to high risk patients in the hospital’s A&E and medical admissions unit.
Medical Director, Professor Clive Kay, said: “We are delighted that Bradford has been chosen to be the first hospital in Europe to trial this innovative new test. There is no doubt that it provides a more complete picture of the heart, helping to identify high-risk cardiac patients more quickly and ensuring faster treatments at a time when every minute counts.”
Next year, the Foundation Trust, along with its research arm, the Bradford Institute of Health Research, hopes to begin a trial to analyse the effectiveness of the new device throughout the hospital.
Paul Knee, managing director of Verathon Medical UK LTD, manufacturers of the Heartscape vest, added: “Verathon Medical UK are looking forward to working in partnership with Bradford Teaching Hospitals who will become the first hospital in Europe to take possession of the Heartscape 3D ECG System this February.
“We are excited about the potential impacts that Heartscape could have on the local area’s patients, especially as Bradford has one of the highest rates of CHD in England.
“If the Heartscape proves to be the success we all believe it can be, this could have major, positive impact for patients across the NHS, particularly when trying to rapidly diagnose or exclude CHD in the Accident and Emergency Department.”
The vest will be officially launched by Verathon at the British Cardiovascular Society Annual Conference in May.
It is estimated that heart disease costs the UK economy £9 billion annually.