By Gary Smee 25/04 Updated: 25/04 14:52
HUNDREDS of lives could be saved each year after Worcestershire Royal Hospital announced plans to introduce round the clock treatment for heart attack victims.
Currently anyone who suffers a serious cardiac arrest has to travel to a specialist heart attack centre in Birmingham, Coventry or Wolverhampton if it happens outside of normal working hours.
But Worcestershire Royal will now offer the lifesaving primary angioplasty treatment, which opens the narrowed or blocked coronary arteries of the heart straight away, 24 hours a day, seven days a week starting in September.
The hospital currently has one cardiac catheter lab which provides the treatment Monday to Friday from 9am until 5pm but it is hoped they will be able to build another lab to provide constant care by the autumn.
The procedure involves a catheter being inserted directly into an artery in the leg and a balloon is then inflated in the blocked area.
It is regarded as the best initial treatment for serious heart attack victims and hospital chiefs estimate it will provide potentially lifesaving treatment for an extra 200 to 250 patients each year.
Dr Jasper Trevelyan, consultant cardiologist at Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, said: "We are delighted plans are progressing to enable this lifesaving service to operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week from September.
"We are now working through the options which will enable the development of a twin cardiac catheter lab within Worcestershire Royal Hospital."
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