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Timely treatment for man having heart attack at sea


Updated: 2019-07-12

Once ashore, a British seaman was treated on the spot for acute myocardial infarction at Phoenix International Medical Center of the 5th Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-sen University without the delay of going through formalities.

The man reportedly had endured repeated chest pains for seven days while at sea. He was taken to Phoenix International Medical Center after suffering another recurrent stroke when his ship temporarily berthed in Zhuhai. An electrocardiographic examination indicated acute myocardial infarction (life-threatening heart attack), which required an immediate coronary angiogram and intracoronary stent implant.

Chen Jian, director of the Cardiovascular Intervention Department, arranged an emergency rescue and reported the situation to authorities. The hospital granted a green channel to the patient and scheduled an operation with his consent.


Group consultation [Photo by Zhao Zi / Zhuhai Daily]

As the proximal segment of the anterior descending was completely occluded and caused heart failure, the doctors reduced the dose of contrast medium. The stent was implanted with the guidance of intravascular ultrasound (IVUS), which lowered the risk of heart failure and made the interventional therapy more precise.

After an hour or so, the blood vessels were re-canalized, with chest pain and heart failure relieved. At the end of the operation the Briton even asked curiously if the procedure was completed and how the stent was implanted into the blood vessels. He exclaimed "Amazing!" when Dr Chen detailed the steps taken.

The patient was then monitored for recovery at the ward, and completed formalities concerning disease certification and his passport with the help of medical staff. He was discharged following days of meticulous care.

The hospital had established a mature green channel and procedures for chest pain emergencies after its designation as a China Chest Pain Center in 2017. Medical staffs of the Emergency and Cardiovascular Intervention departments and its Cath Lab would have received the electrocardiogram and other information for treatment preparation while a patient is still being transported in an emergency vehicle, explained Chen.

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