What is fibrinolytic (clot-busting) therapy?
A heart attack is the damage to the heart muscle caused by the obstruction of one of the coronary vessels feeding the heart. Fibrinolytic therapy (also known as thrombolytic therapy) is a form of treatment applied to patients who have had a heart attack to dissolve the clot that forms in the vein that feeds the heart and blocks the vein.
With fibrinolytic therapy, dissolving the clot and restoring the flow in the heart vessels provides significant benefits to the patient in the early and late periods. The most important goal of heart attack treatment is to shorten the time from the onset of heart attack complaints to the implementation of this treatment as much as possible. With timely fibrinolytic therapy, the risk of death from heart attack can be reduced by 30 to 50%.
What kind of preparation is made before the fibrinolytic treatment procedure?
You will be admitted to the coronary intensive care unit before treatment. Your EKG will be taken and blood samples will be taken to evaluate your blood findings. You will be followed closely in the coronary intensive care unit. You will be connected to monitors that continuously monitor your heart rhythm, and other medications you need to take will be administered orally or intravenously.
In order to apply this treatment method, a second vascular access can be opened in your arm.
What can be encountered during the fibrinolytic treatment procedure?
The application of this treatment method is quite simple. The drug to be used will be given through the intravenous line, at certain times depending on the drug determined. You will be conscious and closely monitored during the procedure.
Rhythm disturbances and chest pain may increase while the drug is being administered.
During and after the procedure, your EKGs will be taken and the nurses will closely monitor your blood pressure and heart rhythm.
After fibrinolytic therapy, the status of your heart disease will be evaluated by your doctor and he will share the treatment and follow-up options with you.
What are the expected benefits of the fibrinolytic treatment procedure?
If fibrinolytic therapy can be given in a short time and the clot can be dissolved, the area of scar (infarction) to occur in the heart will be small and cardiac functions will remain intact or only slightly affected.
With this early treatment method, the life expectancy of patients who have had a heart attack can be extended. In addition, as a result of this treatment with medication, it is expected that your chest pain or complaints of admission to the hospital will decrease, serious heart rhythm disorders and cardiac arrest will be prevented. Opening the heart vessels will cause it to work better.
What are the drug-related risks in fibrinolytic treatment?
The main risks that may develop due to fibrinolytic therapy are death, stroke (stroke), bleeding and allergic reactions.
The most serious risk is that the patient will have a stroke due to cerebral hemorrhage during or after treatment ( stroke) or due to this bleeding death Stop. These risks are below 1%. The risk of stroke may vary depending on the patient’s age, characteristics, and other existing diseases (high blood pressure, previous stroke, etc.).
Since the drug used is a strong clot dissolver, the patient bleeding may occur. Slight bleeding on the skin and at the needle entry sites is common. Serious bleeding requiring blood transfusion is less common. Severe bleeding may be from the stomach or urinary tract, or from other areas.
Depending on the drug used, low blood pressure, allergic reactions (less than one in a thousand), fever, and rhythm disturbances may occur, albeit rarely.
If you have previously been treated with fibrinolytics, you must specify. Re-administration of the same drug at certain time intervals can cause significant side effects.
Very rarely, side effects other than those mentioned above may occur.