Groundbreaking Clinical Trial at St. Joseph Medical Center

Courtesy Abiomed

Several Washington hospitals are part of a groundbreaking clinical trial that could be a game-changer for people with cardiogenic shock. Cardiogenic shock is a condition where your heart stops being able to pump enough blood. For the last 20 years, the chances of surviving this condition have been 50/50, and a lack of standardized treatment has often led to unnecessary procedures for those affected. 

A new clinical trial to improve treatment of cardiogenic shock is taking place at hospitals including St. Joseph Medical Center and Harborview Medical Center. These Washington hospitals are among the first in the country to adopt the National Cardiogenic Shock Initiative Study’s best practice protocol, which shows a 72 percent survival rate. 

This protocol includes placing the world’s smallest heart pump, called the Impella, identifying shock early, and minimizing the use of inotropes. Because cardiogenic shock is the leading cause of death in heart attack patients — and because there have been no improvements made to patient outcomes for 40 years — this clinical trial could lead to a huge breakthrough in medicine.

is an assistant editor at South Sound magazine. Email her.
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