Emergency percutaneous coronary intervention/emergency angioplasty is a procedure that is recommended to treat patients suffering from obstructive coronary artery disease, ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction (ST EMI) or a massive and sudden heart attack in which one of the heart's major arteries is blocked.
The “door-to-balloon" time or the time taken to perform an emergency PCI procedure in patients who have suffered a severe heart attack is of paramount importance for the patient’s survival. It is a life-saving procedure that helps to restore normal blood supply to the heart and reduces the damage to the muscle of the heart. A quicker PCI in emergency cases is associated with high chances of survival. This procedure uses a catheter, which is a thin flexible tube, to place a stent inside a clogged blood vessel that is blocked due to atherosclerosis (fatty plaque formation). A small incision is made in the groin or the arm and inflatable balloon catheter are inserted to treat the blockage. This procedure is coupled with stenting, in which the metal mesh is placed inside the artery to keep it open and prevent re-blockage. Two different stents are used:
A drug-eluting stent: This stent contains medicine that is released slowly to prevent the clogging of the coronary artery.
Bare-metal stents are made up of a metal and are not coated with medicines.