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Cardiology Team at MRI Use New Innovation to Save Man

A quick thinking cardiology team at MRI helped save the life of a man who had a cardiac arrest during a routine procedure. A 65 year old man being prepared to undergo a routine tongue biopsy on Wednesday 6th February 2008 at MRI had a severe allergic reaction to the general anaesthetic, resulting in a cardiac arrest. The Cardiology Specialist Registrar on call Dr Petra Jenkins was called to see the man who was in a critical clinical condition. Ultrasound scan of the heart at this point showed that the heart was hardly contracting. This meant that blood supply was not reaching the vital organs. The patient was transferred immediately to the cardiac catheterisation theatre where Dr Fath-Ordoubadi, Consultant Cardiologist placed artificial pump into the heart called an Impella device. It became clear that the patient was suffering from apical ballooning syndrome. This condition, also known as Tsubo-T Syndrome (meaning lobster pot in Japanese) describes a condition where the heart balloons and is severely impaired. In this case it was felt to be caused by the severe stress response caused by the anaphylactic reaction and shock that had occurred at anaesthetic induction. The Impella device is a catheter which sits in the left ventricle of the heart. It has a motor that pumps the blood out of the heart into the aorta aiding blood circulation. It helps to support the poorly functioning and failing ventricle especially during high risk coronary intervention procedures. In this gentleman’s case it was placed to ‘support’ his heart in the early stages of recovery of Apical Ballooning Syndrome. Normally, this recovery begins at 72 hours and improvement in the condition is seen at around 7-10 days. Remarkably on re-scanning this man within 24 hours of his cardiac arrest and Impella implantation, his left ventricle was no longer dilated and 70% function had returned. The man has made a full recovery and is convalescing at home.” Although Impella device is used in many European countries MRI has been the first hospital in UK to use this device in its current version. Su Lawton from Abiomed explains: “It was a matter of chance that we were in MRI doing some trial work with the Impella. We are currently in discussions with the NHS to fund this new technology and we are very confident that with such positive outcomes the Impella will soon play an important role in the recovery of patient's hearts.”