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New technology cuts rate of heart operations

The gap has been narrowed for Viet Nam’s cardiac treatment technology compared to the rest of the world, the director Pham Gia Khai of the National Institute of Cardiology and Angiology has said.

Prof Khai said that in the past Vietnamese surgeons had to operate on heart patients when medicine failed to prevent chest pain and the onset of heart attack.

But now they can conduct coronary intervention operations, including coronary angioplasty to clear constricted blood vessels as well as stent implementation, or vessel stretching.

Currently, Viet Nam uses the Cypher Stent introduced by the Cordis Corporation, a Johnson & Johnson company, for treating heart patients. The Cypher Stent is surgically placed into a human coronary artery to prevent restenosis (blocked arteries), and improve blood flow.

It has been used in the treatment of 250 Vietnamese heart patients since April 2002, Khai said.

The director said that in 2001, up to 23.2 per cent of Ha Noi’s population suffered from high-blood pressure, a symptom of coronary heart disease.

The mortality rate from blocked arteries is the fourth highest among fatal medical diseases.

VNS - (13/05/2004)

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