8/9/2016 1:00 PM
Blood has a tough job: It must flow continuously and smoothly throughout our bodies all our lifetime; but when we are cut or injured, it must react quickly by shutting off.
Blood clots are lifesaving when they help to stop bleeding. But if they form where they aren’t needed, they can cause a heart attack, stroke, or other serious medical problems.
This past spring, Central Texas Medical Center became the first facility in the region to offer a life-saving technique that dissolves blood clots in the vascular system. It’s called the EKOS® Acoustic Pulse Thombolysis™ procedure and it’s minimally invasive. EKOS® uses lower doses of medicine to treat pulmonary embolism, deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and peripheral arterial occlusion.
“When they happen, these conditions are emergencies that call for immediate treatment,” said CTMC Interventional Cardiologist Anthony Cedrone. “It’s my belief that a community hospital should be able to treat its sickest patients, and innovative procedures such as EKOS® make that possible.”
During catheter-assisted thrombolysis treatment, a catheter is guided through blood vessels to the location of the blood clot. The catheter will deliver special clot dissolving medicine called thrombolytics to help dissolve the clot.
EKOS® also delivers ultrasound energy to mechanically dislodge and loosen the clot. Additional benefits include:
- Speeds time-to-dissolution
- Lowers the risk of bleeding and other complications
- Provides more effective drug delivery and superior thrombus clearance
- Reduced procedure time
“Implementing the EKOS procedure is the latest example of how CTMC continues to be at the forefront of heart-related services in our region,” said Anthony Stahl, Chief Executive Officer at CTMC. “With this new technology, we are able to lower patient risk while achieving higher procedure predictability.”
EKOS helps to treat 3 conditions
- Pulmonary Embolism is a condition in which one or more arteries in the lungs become blocked by a blood clot.
- Deep Vein Thrombosis, or DVT, is a blood clot in a deep vein, usually in the legs.
- Peripheral Arterial Occlusion is a circulatory condition in which narrowed blood vessels reduce blood flow to the limbs.