GRMC's Cath Lab saving lives
Over the past month GRMC Interventional Cardiologist Dr. Aravind Sekhar successfully treated 3 patients who were suffering from a full blown heart attack, known as a STEMI which is a complete blockage of a heart artery.
Dr. Sekhar said the successful treatment of these patients would not have been possible without the cooperation of both Naval Hospital and Guam Memorial Hospital. “These were good examples” of the growing cooperation between the island’s hospitals and ambulance services he said. Each of the 3 patients survived the attacks, and they have since been released from GRMC.
In particular, Dr. Sekhar credits his colleagues at GMH for helping to save the lives of 2 of these patients by administering clot busting medications to stabilize them and swiftly transferring them to GRMC’s Cath Lab where he performed emergency PCI operations. A Percutaneous Coronary Intervention is a non-surgical procedure that uses a catheter to insert a stent inside the blood vessel to open up the blocked area and restore the flow of blood to the heart. In the past heart attack victims would often have to seek such treatments off island.
“Reducing the time it takes to clear the blockage in a patient’s artery is critical,” says Dr. Sekhar and “more such cooperation between hospitals, and ambulances services, is needed.”
The aim says Dr. Sekhar is to reduce the time it takes to clear the blockage to just 90 minutes, which is the national goal set by the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association. “We are talking with both GMH and Naval Hospital about further cooperation to reduce the response time,” says Dr. Sekhar.
Heart disease is the number one killer on Guam, and in the U.S.