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Right Arrow Fast-track treatment for heart attack patients praised
07 July 2010 at 14:23

A cancer-sufferer has praised the quick actions of staff at Southport and Ormskirk hospitals who realised his suspected indigestion pain was the onset of a heart attack.

Graham Campbell, 58, was rushed by ambulance from Southport hospital to Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital for emergency heart surgery under a new scheme to ensure the best possible treatment for suitable heart attack patients.

After waking up on Saturday, June 19th, with chest pain, Graham, who takes chemotherapy tablets for bowel cancer, thought he simply had indigestion.

“With the tablets I take, it says if you have any pain in your chest to ring this 24-hour care line, so I did that and a nurse advised me to go to hospital,” said Graham, a wood machinist, of Aughton, near Ormskirk.

“They were waiting for me at Southport A&E and wired me up and found out there was a problem with my heart,” Graham said. “They were very good and there was no waste of time.”

A combination of Graham’s cancer treatment and hereditary narrowing of the arteries had caused a blockage in his heart.

Graham was told he would be transferred straight to Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital for an emergency angioplasty. This is an operation where a small balloon is inserted into the blocked artery and inflated. Once removed it leaves behind a “stent” – a rigid support which squashes the fatty deposit blocking the artery, allowing blood to flow more easily.

Just three days later Graham was recovering at home and now says he is “feeling fine”.

“My treatment was excellent in every department, from staff at Ormskirk and Southport to the paramedics, all the way through to Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital,” Graham said.

“I couldn’t fault them – their quick responses have done me wonders. I want to thank in particular nurses Christine and Pam, the doctor at Southport A&E and paramedics Gei and Stuart.”

All patients eligible for “clot-busting” drugs for a heart attack at Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust are now offered immediate transfer to Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital for emergency angioplasty. This currently affects one to two patients each week.

Consultant in Emergency Medicine Simon Mckay said: “I am pleased that we are able to offer our patients a significant improvement in the care they receive. We anticipate it making a big difference to patients suffering a heart attack.”

Issued by Tony Ellis, marketing and communications manager
Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust
Telephone 01704 704494
Email tony.ellis@southportandormskirk.nhs.uk



Notes for editors

1. Picture available on request

2. The scheme was introduced on June 1st.

3. Using angioplasty as the main treatment for heart attack patients reduces the number of deaths and improves the longer term outcomes for patients. It reduces complications from treatment of heart attack, preventing re-occurrence, and also helps prevent strokes.

4. Patients who telephone for an ambulance may be taken directly to Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital for the treatment.