The CCU patient I tried to help in 1979 was just a stretcher trip away from the Cardiac Catheterization Lab in the hospital, but balloon angioplasty was not part of cardiac practice at that time.
Our future goals include lots of attention toward prevention. How do we get people to follow a lifestyle that will reduce cardiac risk? What are the best medicines to reduce heart attack risk? How do we identify who has a vulnerable plaque that might rupture and cause a heart attack?
Judging by how rapidly heart attack treatment has changed in just a short time, maybe those answers are not too far away.
Kenneth Adams is senior cardiologist and director of intensive care and telemetry at Merrimack Valley Hospital.