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2002 Press Releases
Morton Plant Hospital Offers Innovative Guided Wire System for Heart Procedures

CLEARWATER, Fla. (March 27, 2002)---After completion of one of the few Florida clinical trials, Morton Plant Hospital is offering the guided wire system for certain heart patients. During coronary angioplasty to reopen a vein graft placed during prior bypass surgery, the GuardWire PlusTM Temporary Balloon Occlusion and Aspiration system is used to capture clot-causing debris that naturally occurs during the procedure. If not removed, the particles can cause heart attacks or other serious complications.

"The GuardWire Plus system is the first and only distal protection system approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use in angioplasties that treat diseased large superficial leg vein grafts," said Patrick Cambier, M.D., a cardiologist with Morton Plant Hospital, who has been performing the procedure for 18 months and conducted the only Tampa Bay clinical trial. "This system enables us to catch and remove almost any debris released into blood vessels when we reopen the vein graft."

Manufactured by Medtronic, the GuardWire Plus system entered the U.S. market in June 2001 following four years of clinical experience in Europe, mainly Germany and Switzerland. During the nine-month clinical trial at Morton Plant Hospital, Dr. Cambier treated 15 patients. The Morton Plant data mirrored the national results in which there was a 42 percent reduction of major adverse cardiac events in patients 30 days after the procedure.

"Working through a small groin incision, the GuardWire Plus system is introduced at the start of the angioplasty," added Dr. Cambier. "The thin, hollow tube---0.014 inch in diameter---is maneuvered through the vascular system into the diseased vein and across the blockage."

The GuardWire Plus tube carries a balloon at its tip that is inflated to block off the blood vessel and provide protection against debris released into the blood system. An angioplasty balloon and/or a coronary stent are advanced along the GuardWire Plus tube to the treatment site. During the procedure, the embolic particles remain trapped in the blocked vessel. Upon completion of the intervention, the aspiration catheter is advanced, the particles are removed and the balloon is deflated.

Established in 1916, Morton Plant Hospital is a 687-bed facility dedicated to improving the health of all it serves through community-owned health services that set the standard for high quality, compassionate care. Named a Solucient Top 100 Cardiovascular Hospital for the fourth consecutive year in 2001, Morton Plant Hospital has more than 50 specialty areas of service including women's health, cancer treatment, cardiovascular medicine, behavioral health, neurosciences, emergency care and orthopaedics. Morton Plant Hospital is located at 300 Pinellas Street in Clearwater, Fla., (727) 462-7000.

Contacts: Phoebe Ochman/Beth Hardy

MPMHC News Bureau

727 / 461-8117 Phone

727 / 468-7586 Pager