PERT (Pulmonary Embolism Response Team)
Pulmonary Embolisms are extremely common, with over 200,000 U.S. cases per year. A pulmonary embolism occurs when a blood clot is lodged in an artery in the lung which blocks blood flow.. Blood clots typically forms elsewhere in the body, but most commonly in the legs. The clot then travels through the right side of the heart and makes its way into the lungs.
Symptoms related to pulmonary embolisms consist of:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Cough (especially if you are coughing up blood)
- Pain in your back
- Lightheaded or fainting
- Consistent perspiration
- Blue nails or lips
A variety of tests are available to confirm a pulmonary embolism. A chest x-ray or an ultrasound are necessary to determine if there is a blood clot in the leg. Various pulmonary tests are also performed to check the function of your lungs.
People who are at a high risk of developing a pulmonary embolism include those who:
- Have been inactive for an extended period of time
- Are immobile
- Have an inherited condition or may inherit a condition such as blood clotting disorders
- Have had surgery or broken a bone, since the risk for blood clots is higher after a surgery or broken bone
Good Samaritan’s PERT (Pulmonary Embolism Response Team) is a unique multidisciplinary approach for high-and intermediate-risk patients experiencing a pulmonary embolism. The team consists of intensivists, interventional cardiologists, cardiothoracic surgeons and others. Once a patient meets the criteria and a pulmonary embolism is diagnosed for a patient at risk, the PERT Team is activated and employs an EKOS catheter, the only FDA approved device for USAT (ultrasound Assisted Thrombolysis.
An EKOS device is an acoustic pulse thrombolysis treatment system. It is a minimally invasive procedure that dissolves the formation of a blood clot. This system provides more effective delivery of medication by generating a localized ultrasonic acoustic field that accelerates the dispersion of medication and allows it to go deeper into the clot. These medications are delivered for several hours to a few days. It may take up to 72 hours for the clot to fully dissolve, but most cases dissolve within the first 24 hours.
Benefits of the thrombolysis treatment include improved blood flow and reduced and improved related symptoms, without a more invasive surgery. Thrombolysis treatment is safe and highly effective in promoting circulation blocked by a clot. There is also no obvious surgical incision and there is less blood loss, when compared to a traditional surgery.
For more information or a physician referral, visit www.good-samaritan-hospital.org or call (631) 376-4444.