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The ClearWay RX - Rapid Exchange Therapeutic Perfusion Catheter helps save larger area of heart muscle in heart attacks. Cardiac interventionists now know that it is not sufficient to remove the big clot that produces a heart attack; ensuring that the small vessels supply blood to the heart muscle is just as crucial.

When interventionists attempt to thrombolyse the clot that has triggered a heart attack, in most cases pieces of the blood clot travel down the micro vessels and get lodged there, cutting off supply to that portion of the heart muscle. If there is good micro-circulation, then there is no problem. But, in instances where there is improper flow of blood right to the end of the vessel, it has to be corrected. If we don't, then the amount of permanent damage will be higher.

cardiologists operate with the aim of saving as much muscle as possible after a heart attack has occurred. In an acute myocardial infarction, there is interest only in the block that caused the attack, but once that has been thrombolised it is essential to check for the myocardial blush score - to see if the blood flow has been restored. The longer a blush lasts it means the block has not been successfully removed - that there may be blocks in the smaller vessels.

Through the traditional method of passing drugs through a catheter to bust those clots, it has been proven that over 50 per cent of the drug would be washed away and a further 20 to 25 per cent delivered to unwanted branches of the small vessels (that have no clots). In effect that means that less than 20 per cent of the drug will reach the target area.

So the idea is to use a device that will prevent the microvasculature from clogging. Apollo Hospitals uses a state-of-the-art therapeutic infusion device, the ClearWay catheter. It has a balloon at its end that gently weeps the drug into the targeted area, dissolving the clot. Typically such Occlusion Containment Infusion (OCI) equipment removes the occlusion (block) in the vessel. It contains the thrombus (clot) at the site itself and infuses the drug gently so that the clot dissolves. The prognosis for the patient is also better, and saves a larger area of the heart muscle.

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