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  The Herman Trend Alert

February 13, 2008

Vacuuming Blood Clots Improves Survival

(This Herman Trend Alert could save your life or the life of someone you love.) A very recent article published in the February 7, 2008 edition of the well-respected medical journal, the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJAMA), reports that vacuuming out blood clots before placing stents can improve patients' chances of survival after heart attack.

Typically, in cases like these, balloons inserted into the arteries compress the blockages before stents are placed. (In fact Roger Herman, founder of The Herman Group, had such a procedure performed in July 2000.) This study strongly suggests that vacuuming out the blood clots, rather than compressing them, improves the patients' chances for survival.

Supported by a grant from Medtronic, the medical device people who make stents (among other life-prolonging equipment), this study was conducted at the University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, in The Netherlands. The study followed 1,071 patients, hospitalized for heart attacks, who needed emergency angioplasty (balloon procedure).

Half the patients were given conventional treatment described above, in which balloons inserted into their arteries compressed the blockages before stents were placed. For the other half , the researchers sucked out the clots with syringes before placing the stents.

The findings were impressive: Over fifty-six percent of the patients in the vacuumed group experienced reverse EKG (abbreviated from the German Elektrokardiogramm) signs of heart attack, while only 44.2 percent of the standard group. Doing the math, that is an improvement of over 28 percent. Moreover, patients whose clots were suctioned were more likely to show better blood flow to the heart tissue. This statistic is important because patients with the best flow to the heart tissue have a five-fold greater chance of survival 30 days after their heart attack compared to those with poor blood flow. Also in 72.9 percent of patients, doctors were able to confirm successful aspiration (vacuuming).

Although this study was only conducted at one medical center, this break-through is one example of the many medical advancements we can expect in the coming years. Special thanks to Ernie Clevenger, my direct source for this valuable information and publisher of "MyHealthGuide". (

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