Cardiac centre planned for Lister
HOSPITAL bosses are planning to invest more than £1m to make Lister a heart attack centre. Currently paramedics often take patients who have suffered a suspected heart attack to a specialist centre outside of the area, but it is hoped Lister will become a
HOSPITAL bosses are planning to invest more than £1m to make Lister a heart attack centre.
Currently paramedics often take patients who have suffered a suspected heart attack to a specialist centre outside of the area, but it is hoped Lister will become a centre of excellence if plans to expand the cardiac suite get the green light.
Cardiac consultant at Lister, Dr Paul Ong, said: "A heart attack centre is where specialists are in place to perform the most state-of-the-art procedure to open the arteries - primary angioplasty.
"We want to deliver the service locally. You don't want to be travelling for an hour or longer, because all the time you will be losing heart muscle.
"One thing I'm really proud of is that we have the staff to do it, but with one lab we have a lot of limitation.
"Imagine if we are in the middle of something. We can't have a patient on the table who has been waiting six weeks for an operation, and then an ambulance crew brings in a heart attack patient. I can't make this second patient wait but I also can't have the first patient's procedure rushed.
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"We need a second lab because we have the clinical demand and we have a large population.
"Not every case is complicated. One lab could do the difficult and time-consuming things and the other would do rapid, quick-turnover things. There will be a casualty hotline and the ambulance crews will call us to say they are on their way. We will wrap up a case and then wait. Instead of a patient waiting for doctors, the doctors will be waiting for the patient."
Currently, anyone who has suffered a heart attack and is taken to Lister is given a clot-busting drug in casualty with the possibility of having angioplasty at a later date.
Dr Ong said: "It's still a very good treatment, but technology has moved on. In theory we should be able to offer something a little bit better than that. As a heart attack centre, patients will be assessed by cardiologists rather than junior doctors."
Dr Ong also said: "Most people who have chest pain delay contacting us. We need to alert the public that if they have certain symptoms they should not delay because the heart muscles will start to die and they don't come back.
"A classic description [of a heart attack] is tightness across the chest, and sometimes there will be a heaviness across the shoulders and down the arms. You will feel very unwell and breathless. It does not necessarily involve a sharp pain."
The proposed investment is currently being considered by the Trust's board and, if approved, work to expand the cardiac suite will start as soon as possible.