Heart patient stent alert

Earlier this week, Abbott Vascular Australia announced that the heart device Absorb Bioresorbable Vascular Scaffold system will no longer be used as research has shown it is linked to elevated rates of heart attacks and blood clots.

The product is an absorbable heart stent that is inserted into an artery around the heart due to narrowing of that artery, so that blood flow to the heart would be improved.

Dr Luis Prado, Epworth Group Director, Medical Services, reports that any Abbott bioresorbable heart stents remaining at Epworth Richmond and Epworth Eastern were recalled on 2 May and communication to patients and doctors was undertaken.

“As soon as we were notified, we complied with the Abbott recall; wrote letters to all Epworth patients who have received this particular stent; and contacted our cardiologists.

“All patients who have any stent inserted are advised to seek urgent medical attention if they have any symptoms related to their heart. We re-iterate that message and strongly advise patients who have had this particular stent inserted, to seek immediate medical attention if they experience chest pain, shortness of breath or heart palpitations.

“Patients should always follow any directions provided by their health professional, including taking medicines, known as dual antiplatelet therapy (DAPT) (‘blood thinners’) to reduce the risks of heart attack and blood clot,” Dr Prado said.

Dr Prado also reminds patients not make any changes to heart medications, including the ‘blood thinners’, without contacting their cardiologist, even if these changes are temporary, prior to undergoing surgery, or dental and other procedures.

The Australian therapeutics Drug Authority (TGA) publically advised that the stent was being removed from the market on 2 May. More information is available via the full TGA announcement.

A small percentage of patients undergoing coronary angioplasty (the opening of blocked heart arteries) in Australia received the dissolvable stent over a five year period.
The device is used in more than 100 countries, including the United States.

Enquiries: Media Director Colleen Coghlan 0423 777 452