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NGMC first to join national heart initiative

Only half of all people treated for cardiogenic shock survive, but a new collaboration of 50 hospitals nationwide is working to increase that survival rate. Northeast Georgia Medical Center (NGMC) is the first, and currently only, hospital in Georgia invited to join the National Cardiogenic Shock Initiative. The new collaboration aims to standardize treatment for patients experiencing cardiogenic shock—with the goal of increasing survival to 80 percent.

Cardiogenic shock is a condition in which the heart suddenly can’t pump enough blood throughout the body. It is most often caused by a severe heart attack, though not everyone who has a heart attack experiences cardiogenic shock. It’s rare, but often fatal.

“Currently, there is no national standard protocol for treating patients suffering from cardiogenic shock, so treatment methods vary among hospitals,” said Allison Dupont, MD, FACC, MSCAI—an interventional cardiologist at The Heart Center of NGMC and principal investigator at NGMC for the Initiative. “We want to share the life-saving knowledge we have about how to treat this condition with other hospitals nationwide—contributing to a new, unified standard of care.”

The National Cardiogenic Shock Initiative began in 2016 as the Detroit Cardiogenic Shock Initiative, with doctors at Henry Ford Health System and five other medical centers in southeast Michigan collaborating to define treatment for the condition. They increased regional survival rates from 51 percent to 76 percent by organizing and following a protocol that uses a straw-sized heart pump inserted through a catheter and into the heart to support circulation while the cardiologist treats the heart attack with another procedure.

“Interventional cardiologists at The Heart Center of NGMC are experienced operators of the heart pump, and we already use a similar protocol to treat cardiogenic shock patients,” said Dr. Dupont. “Our cardiovascular expertise, the number of heart attack patients we treat each year and the resources we have in place to treat cardiogenic shock make NGMC an outstanding source for collecting the reliable data needed to help save lives.”

NGMC Gainesville and NGMC Braselton are participating in the National Cardiogenic Shock Initiative that will track the treatment of 500 patients nationwide.

People who need to connect with a cardiologist can schedule an appointment by calling The Heart Center of NGMC at 770-534-2020 or visiting heartngmc.org.

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