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|20 September 2005|
Hospital board approves angioplasty plans
The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital already has a diagnostic angiography centre that performs 2,000 coronary angiograms a year. Angiograms involve a special form of x-ray that shows the state of the arteries and blood flow. A special dye is injected into the coronary artery which shows up on the x-ray and reveals whether blood vessels are narrow, irregular or blocked.
Patients needing cardiac intervention are currently sent to Papworth Hospital in Cambridgeshire and on Wednesday the Board supported a plan to introduce a service for selected emergency and elective angioplasty.
Coronary angioplasty (medical name - Percutaneous Coronary Intervention or PCI) is a technique to widen the arteries to the heart using a catheter passed into a blood vessel in the groin or arm. Once the catheter is in place, a tiny balloon is passed through the centre of it and gently inflated to widen the artery.
Two consultant cardiologists at NNUH have expertise in angioplasty and the proposal is to develop a Norwich service at a cost of around £500,000 over the next five years. The proposal includes a temporary mobile catheter lab.
A PCI service could take six to nine months to put in place. The proposal to the Board has the support of the hospital's cardiology team, Papworth Hospital, and Norfolk's Primary Care Trusts. Around 40 per cent of patients undergoing angiograms will need an angioplasty and currently patients needing the procedure will wait up to seven days at NNUH before transfer to Papworth.
Medical Director, Dr Iain Brooksby, said: "As a consultant cardiologist I know how much such a service will benefit our patients locally, in addition it will be progress for our staff who can make full use of their skills, and it will allow medical students from the UEA to learn best practice in this specialty."