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New fast-track angioplasty already saving lives in York and Harrogate

01 July 2008

1 July 2008

People in York and Harrogate suffering a heart attack will now be taken by Yorkshire Ambulance Service straight to the specialist heart centre at Leeds General Infirmary (LGI) for life-saving surgery in a new fast-track service introduced by North Yorkshire and York Primary Care Trust (PCT).

Previously all heart attack patients were taken to their local hospital for thrombolysis treatment and to be stabilised. If an angioplasty was required they would then have to make a second journey to the LGI for surgery.

Now when paramedics are called to a suspected heart attack, if they diagnose a particular type of heart attack called a STEMI (ST elevated myocardial infarction), the patient will be taken straight to the LGI where they can be stabilised for surgery. If the journey time is longer than two hours between call-out and arrival at hospital, the patient will be taken instead to their local hospital and once stabilised can then be transferred to the LGI for an angioplasty.

Dr Alison Walker, Medical Director for Yorkshire Ambulance Service (YAS) said, “If a paramedic identifies a patient as having had a STEMI, the sooner the primary angioplasty is carried out, the less damage there will be to the heart and the quicker the patient is likely to recover.”

“YAS is pleased to be involved in this service and there has been excellent cooperation between the ambulance service, North Yorkshire and York PCT and Leeds General Infirmary providing this service 24 hours a day.”

The PCT’s Director of Commissioning and Service Modernisation Jane Marshall said,

“This new service could potentially benefit up to 150 people from York and Harrogate each year as heart attack patients now have much quicker access to angioplasty procedures. This new fast-track service will ultimately give patients the best possible chance of a full recovery.”

Produced By: Corporate Communications Department