Man and Heart Silhouette Heart attacks can take place at any time. To reduce the amount of damage done to the heart, heart attack sufferers should immediately be brought to the nearest hospital for immediate treatment. However, most hospitals don’t have the required personnel present during nights and weekends. By the time the team has been summoned from home, the patient’s health could deteriorate further. Now, the Loyola University Hospital has established a round-the-clock angioplasty team that will be present in the hospital at all times during the day and night, seven days a week, to conduct immediate angioplasty for heart attack patients.

Loyola hospital has become the first hospital in Illinois to staff a Heart Attack Rapid Response Team at the hospital to be present at all hours and all days of the week. This team includes board certified and highly experienced interventional cardiologists, nurses and technicians. “The HARRT program will provide the next leap of care for patients,” says Dr. Fred Leya, Loyola interventional cardiologist.

In case of heart attack, immediate angioplasty has to be performed on the patient. Angioplasty is the method of mechanically widening an obstructed blood vessel. Tightly folded balloons are inserted into the narrowed locations, which are then inflated using water pressures, in an attempt to widen the narrowed blood vessel. The paramedics, in order to reduce the time taken for an angioplasty, take the patient to the hospital. En route to the hospital they check to confirm whether the patient is undergoing a heart attack. The results are then radioed to the hospital, so that the hospital can make the necessary arrangements for the heart attack patient.

The American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association recommend a patient undergoing heart attack to be given a balloon angioplasty immediately or at least within 90 minutes of arrival to the hospital. It is stated that speed is of great importance in such cases, because the therapy effect significantly reduces with delayed treatment.

Other than Loyola, there are various other hospitals that have set up an around-the-clock angioplasty team. Such hospitals include Detroit Medical Center, Vanderbilt Medical Center in Nashville, and Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center in Milwaukee.