Known as ‘Enhanced External Counterpulsation (EECP),’ the procedure does away with the need for hospitalisation in heart attack cases.

From mid-December, the Coimbatore Medical College Hospital will perform a non-invasive procedure to treat angina (chest pain) and heart ailments.

Known as ‘Enhanced External Counterpulsation (EECP),’ the procedure does away with the need for hospitalisation in heart attack cases. The CMCH has become the second government hospital in Tamil Nadu, after Madras Medical College, to get this procedure, CMCH Dean R. Vimala told The Hindu here on Wednesday.

A Memorandum of Understanding was signed with a Chennai-based equipment supplier on Saturday. A separate space is being created to install the equipment. It is expected to become operational by December 15, she said.

CMCH Deputy Medical Superintendent Isaac Christian Moses said that the EECP can be used to treat cases of mild and moderate heart attacks. Counterpulsation, basically, pumps when the heart rests and releases pressure when it works. In this treatment, the patient is strapped to a desk and blood pressure cuffs are applied across his body.

The cuffs are inflated and deflated at specific intervals between the heart beats.

This is done to “stimulate the opening of small branches of blood vessels to create a natural bypass around blocked arteries,” he said.The patient’s vital parameters will be constantly monitored through an electrocardiogram (ECG). The patient has to undergo this procedure for an hour a day for a total of 35 hours, he said.

Dr. Isaac, who is also the head of CMCH Department of Cardiology, said that the CMCH treated around 3,000 to 4,000 heart patients from various parts of Western Tamil Nadu and parts of Kerala as well.

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