How Angioplasty Saved a 96-Year-Old Man

Is it possible to perform an interventionist heart procedure on a 96 year old man who has had an acute heart attack? The same question was running in the mind of Dr. Bhushan Bari. The consultant cardiologist at Manipal Hospital in Pune was not sure about emergency angioplasty which was the only shot to save the woman̵7;s life. And in the end, it did.

“She was 96 years old and her heartbeat was alarmingly low. Although his diabetes and hypertension were under control. Such cases are rare in old age patients and we had to tell relatives about the procedure and the risks associated with it. There may be injury to the kidney or there may be complications after the procedure,” Dr Bari said. But the patient’s general practitioner seemed very confident of the woman’s general fitness, who walked daily until episodes, and had sharp intellectual abilities. His 67-year-old son gave his consent after which the doctor and his team saved his life with the help of temporary pacemaker and emergency angioplasty.

“The doctor did an angiogram which showed one percent block. We decided to go ahead with the process because I knew my mother was very physically active and her blood pressure and diabetes were under control. After the angioplasty, the doctor showed us on the computer screen how the artery had opened up and there was bleeding,” said the much relieved son. His mother responded well to treatment and was discharged four days after admission.

Bari recalled that when the patient was brought to the hospital, he complained of severe back pain and heaviness in his chest. On further evaluation and ECG, it was found that he had already had an acute heart attack as well as a heart block which caused a very low heart rate.

A heart attack is a fatal condition in which the blood supply to the heart is suddenly cut off due to a clot. This condition is very common after the age of 50. In this case, it was complicated by a complete heart block, Dr. Bari said. A temporary pacemaker was placed to bring the heartbeat back to normal.

An angioplasty is then performed, as part of which a wire is inserted through the groin to the heart to clear the clot. This treatment is also extremely safe for elderly patients as it requires a very small incision. Therefore, the chances of infection or other complications during the procedure are very low, and the patient can recover very quickly. This case showed that it can also work in cases of old age.