The Medical Center of Aurora Announces Participation in National Cardiogenic Shock Initiative

The Medical Center of Aurora Announces Participation in National Cardiogenic Shock Initiative
Aurora, CO, August 28, 2019 --( HCA Healthcare/HealthONE’s The Medical Center of Aurora today announced that they have been invited to join the National Cardiogenic Shock Initiative (NCSI). Facilities that have adopted the NCSI protocol have shown dramatically increased survival rates for patients with heart attack-induced shock. TMCA is one of only a few hospitals in Colorado using the NSCI protocol.

Cardiogenic shock is a serious condition that occurs when the heart cannot pump enough blood and oxygen to the brain, kidneys, and other vital organs. Cardiogenic shock is a life-threatening emergency and should be treated immediately. Complications may include organ damage or organ failure.

The most common cause of cardiogenic shock is a heart attack, but other health problems that may lead to cardiogenic shock include heart conditions such as heart failure; chest injuries; medicine side effects; and conditions that prevent blood from flowing freely through your heart, such as a blood clot in the lungs. Cardiogenic shock is rare, but is often fatal if not treated immediately. If treated immediately, about half the people who develop the condition survive.

Cardiogenic shock is a complication of heart attack that affects approximately 5-8 percent of heart attack patients in the United States each year. In these patients, the pumping function of the heart is severely affected which causes low blood pressure that can result in the vital organs being deprived of blood. On average, about 50 percent of patients experiencing the condition die, despite contemporary treatment methods.

The Medical Center of Aurora adopted the NCSI protocol earlier this year, prior to receiving the invitation to join the Initiative. “We began using the protocol early because it was the right thing to do for patient care,” said Dr. Jonathan Sherman, a cardiologist with Aurora Denver Cardiology Associates and TMCA’s lead physician for the Initiative. “It is a tremendous honor to have been invited to join the Initiative, as the NCSI is a proven best practice for treating cardiogenic shock. Locally, we have seen an increase in our survival rates for these patients since adopting their protocol. Additionally, as participants, we are part of a valuable registry that compares outcomes, validating what we already know is occurring from the use of the protocol.”

The difference with the NCSI protocol is that doctors immediately treat the heart attack-induced cardiogenic shock. In patients who received rapid hemodynamic support before treating the cause of their heart attack, survival rates increased dramatically. Previously, patients would immediately receive Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI), also known as angioplasty, in which doctors use a catheter to place a stent, opening up the blocked blood vessels in that heart that caused the heart attack.

Using the NCSI protocol, TMCA doctors now immediately use the Impella device, which is a straw-sized pump that is currently the only device approved by FDA for hemodynamic support. The device is inserted through a catheter in the groin and into the heart to keep blood pumping throughout the body. The doctors use it while they’re treating the cause of a heart attack, either inserting a stent, removing a clot or taking other necessary action while the tiny pump supports circulation.

“Our cardiac program has gained national recognition because we are on the forefront of heart care,” said Dr. Dianne McCallister, Chief Medical Officer at The Medical Center of Aurora and Spalding Rehabilitation Hospital. “The Cardiac Alert program, which is now a national standard for treating patients who are experiencing a ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction, or STEMI, was developed right here in Aurora in partnership with our cardiac physicians and EMS colleagues. Adopting the NCSI protocol is just another step we are taking to maintain our position as a leader in heart care in Colorado and the region. We are fortunate to have a very strong team of cardiologists, cardiac surgeons and hospital staff.”

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The Medical Center of Aurora
Laura Stephens