Thursday, February 12, 2009

OSU Launches Heart Initiatives

The Ohio State University Medical Center is testing the safety and effectiveness of an implanted wireless pressure sensor as part of a pivotal clinical study to enable cardiologists to rapidly treat patients. “The device provides real-time access to critical information at any time,” says Dr. William Abraham, Director for the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine at the Medical Center and the trial’s co-principal investigator. “The study will help determine if physicians can use this data to help identify appropriate medical treatment for heart failure patients.”

The device is implanted in the patient’s pulmonary artery using a simple, catheter-based procedure. Pulmonary artery pressure is then measured and transmitted to a secure web site where it is reviewed by the implanting physician. The data is also available to the physician on a handheld computer 24/7. So far, the Medical Center has implanted 10 patients as part of a feasibility study and ongoing CHAMPION trial sponsored by CardioMEMS, Inc., in Atlanta Georgia.

The Medical Center is also working to help patients suffering from the most serious form of heart attack or ST-segment myocardial infarction (STEMI). “We know rapid care for these patients is critical to reducing mortality and improving patient outcomes, so we are continuing to improve treatment times for heart patients throughout the region”, reports Dr. Ernest L. Mazzaferri, Jr., Director of the Regional STEMI Program at Ohio State’s Ross Heart Hospital.

The Ross Heart Hospital’s regional STEMI protocol begins when the catherization lab is alerted either by the physician or EMS when they contact Ohio State’s transfer center using a dedicated hotline number, or by issuing a STEMI Alert. Local providers, MedFlight and OSU’s interventional cardiologist determine optimal immediate patient care and they are often able to mobilize catherization lab teams in 20 minutes. As follow-up, the nurse coordinating the STEMI program then provides feedback to the referring emergency department, EMS, and the primary care physician, or cardiologist.

Through the generosity of an anonymous benefactor, OSU’s regional STEMI team is distributing computer modems to numerous central Ohio EMS agencies. These units transmit electrocardiogram tracings directly from the field to any hospital in the central Ohio region that performs the specialized procedure to open a blocked artery.