Dr. Felipe Gallego was on duty at InCor (Instituto do Coração do Hospital da Clínicas da FMUSP) when the Executive Director Assistant of the clinic one day came in with her father. He had chest pain which turned out to be a severe heart attack with cardiac arrest. Felipe and his team managed to save the patient using Getinge’s intra-aortic balloon pump.
After suddenly getting heavy chest pain the patient was transported to InCor, a public health care clinic in São Paulo, Brazil where most patients arrive in critical conditions with acute coronary syndromes. InCor is one of the three largest cardiology centers in the world in volume of care and number of cardiology specialties gathered. This patient was actually the father of the Executive Director Assistant of the clinic, and at the arrival he had a cardiac arrest in the Cath lab as one of the main coronary arteries was completely occluded.
“I immediately called for Getinge’s intra-aortic balloon pump (IABP). My team is fully trained on the device and catheters since it’s easy to use and has a strong safety profile,” tells Felipe Gallego, counter pulsation enthusiast and physician in charge of the acute coronary diseases department at InCor. “Within minutes we had initiated counter pulsation therapy which allowed us to keep him alive while performing the opening of the occluded coronary artery.”
“In my opinion this quick initiation was the key bridge for the heart to recover since it’s a treatment that brings two major benefits – promoting coronary perfusion while reducing the workload of the heart. My priority was to support blood perfusion as most patients with this symptom risk to die due to cardiogenic chock.”
Dr. Gallego is happy that they can count on several IABP devices and catheters available at all times at InCor, so that they can provide adequate cardio-circulatory support to critically ill patients who arrive there every day.
“Having a simple, safe and effective option is vital for us as health care providers. And to make sure we always provide the best and safest treatment we are continuously supported by Getinge with ad-hoc specialized training for our physicians and nurses.”
Today, years after the heart attack, the patient is in a good condition, living a normal life.
“He recently came to visit us at the clinic and I must say that his overall health status is remarkable considering the severity of his coronary disease. His daughter practically saw him dead, but today he is doing really great.”
For Dr. Gallego, the best thing about his job is to see positive outcome of severely ill patients, to witness them getting stable and better.
“There is nothing greater than to give a person a second chance of life. The IABPs are for us the most important mechanical circulatory support and they are crucial in our work.”