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Specialist heart centre created

5 April 09 12:32 GMT

Heart attack patients are to receive potentially life-saving treatment faster following the opening of a new specialist centre.

Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) says its new Heart Attack Centre will be able to treat patients sooner.

Instead of using traditional clot-busting drugs the centre will give patients a procedure known as primary angioplasty, which restores blood flow.

It involves doctors inserting a small balloon into a blocked artery.

'Fewer complications'

The hospital said the Primary Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PPCI) surgery would be administered within two hours of a person suffering a heart attack.

Angioplasty is already a routine procedure at the hospital for patients with angina.

In a statement the hospital said: "Giving primary angioplasty to people who have had a heart attack reduces the number of possible complications, the likelihood of another attack or strokes and the time patients spend in hospital."

NNUH interventional cardiologist Dr Tim Gilbert said the procedure would "significantly improve the chances of surviving a heart attack and reduce the need for further investigation and treatment".

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