CHIANG MAI (The Nation/Asia News Network): The Maharaj Nakorn Chiang Mai Hospital has become the first and only medical facility in Thailand to integrate a cath lab and a cardiac MRI.
The faculty dean, Bannakij Lojanapiwat, emphasised that the integration aimed to reduce door-to-door time for patients to have a better chance of survival and recovery.
He said patients suffering from acute coronary syndrome require immediate medical attention and "every minute counts".
A statement from the hospital, which is a part of Chiang Mai University's Faculty of Medicine, said on Wednesday that the integration of the Catheterization Lab and Cardiac MRI facilities into the emergency room (ER) has now transformed the Maharaj Nakhon Chiang Mai Hospital into Thailand's largest one-stop-service ER in the North.
In order to provide timely treatment, which is critical for saving patients’ lives, the hospital is providing smart ambulances to transport patients. As a result, it would be possible to diagnose patients' symptoms during the ride and the operation could begin as soon as the patients arrive at the hospital, Bannakij said.
“Our team should be able to perform the much-needed surgery within 30 minutes. Survival chance is therefore higher,” Bannakij said.
Standards require that once patients with heart failures reach the ER, their condition must be diagnosed with an electrocardiogram within 10 minutes and a surgery must be done within 90 minutes.
Interventional cardiologist Pannipa Suwannasom believes the medical team at her hospital will be able to perform surgery on patients within 60 minutes as a result of the integration of the cath lab and cardiac MRI into the ER – down from 79 minutes before the integration.
“A faster treatment process not only saves lives, it also minimises damage from heart condition,” she said, noting that in most hospitals, the cath lab and emergency room are in separate zones or even on different floors.
The director of Maharaj Nakorn Chiang Mai Hospital, Asst Prof Dr Narain Chotirosniramit, said that before the integration, it took 10 to 15 minutes just to move patients from the ER to the cath lab on the 8th floor of the hospital building.
“This move can save lives,” he said.
Chiang Mai University's Faculty of Medicine was the first in Thailand to establish a heart failure clinic more than 20 years ago.
Over the last few decades, the clinic has constantly raised its standards. The CMU Heart Failure Management Programme has received the American Heart Association's Get with the Guidelines - Heart Failure Bronze Plus Achievement Award.
CMU is currently in the process of raising its standards to Silver Level, with the goal of reaching Gold Level within the next two years.