Category Archives: EECP® Therapy

EECP Patient Receives Quilt Of Valor

When we received this story from Doris Osborne, the president of the International EECP Therapy Association (IETA) and EECP Coordinator of the Ohio Heart and Vascular Center in Cincinnati, OH, we knew we had to share it on our blog as well.

Below, read the story about one patient Doris worked with and the great gift this woman gave another patient after treatment.

Hannah Kratzer was being treated with EECP® Therapy here at Ohio Heart & Vascular Center when she heard William Sandlin talking about his time in Vietnam in the EECP® bed next to hers.  Being a member of the Ohio Valley Quilters Guild of Hamilton County, she asked me if it would be possible for her and the Administrator of the Quilt of Valor Foundation to honor him with a Quilt of Valor in our EECP® clinic.  She told me that the mission of the Quilts of Valor Foundation is to cover each of our service members and veterans who have been wounded or touched by war with a healing and comforting Quilt of Valor.  My answer was YES.

William Sandlin and Hannah Kratzer

Mrs. Kratzer and Kathy Saunders, Administrator of the Quilts of Valor of Cincinnati, presented Mr. Sandlin with the Quilt of Valor. He was very surprised to receive the honor. He said, “I feel really humbled and grateful to receive this Quilt of Valor.  This is the first time I have ever received anything like this in my entire life.”

William Sandlin, Hannah Kratzer and Kathy Saunders

From left, Doris Osborne, EECP® Coordinator and IETA President, William Sandlin, Vietnam veteran and EECP® patient, Robert Osborne, Lead EECP® Therapist and IETA member

Doris would like to take the opportunity to encourage all EECP Therapy Clinics to team up with a Quilt Guild in order to honor a vet. To locate local Quilt of Valor groups, please visit http://www.qovf.org/localqov-list.html.

In her posting Doris suggests that as part of EECP® Therapy Awareness Week EECP® centers around the country set aside one day during Heart Month in February 2015 to present a Quilt of Valor to one or two of their patients. Centers that are interested in participating should start by contacting Doris at info@ietaonline.com to coordinate this IETA promoted national event.

The mission of the IETA is to educate patients, EECP therapists and physicians on how EECP Therapy can help give relief to the hearts of patients who have refractory angina.

At Vasomedical, we fully support our veterans, and are happy to bring any additional joy we can to their lives – from EECP Therapy to Quilts of Honor!

EECP Therapy in the News – Montreal Researchers Trial of Non-Invasive Treatment

Earlier this week, a news channel in Canada – CTV Montreal News – reported that a group of cardiovascular researchers at Hospital Pierre Boucher, in Longueuil, Quebec, are working with the Montreal Heart Institute to test Enhanced External Counterpulsation (EECP) treatment on patients with stable and unstable angina.

In response to a recommendation made four years ago in an evaluation of EECP Therapy by the Ministry of Health in Quebec for additional clinical information, a private foundation provided a grant to cover the costs of the research project. For the past three years clinical investigators, including Dr. Marc Jolicouer from the Montreal Heart Institute, have been treating patients at no charge to the patients in an open clinical trial designed to show the safety, efficacy and potential economic benefit with the goal of making EECP Therapy available to more patients in Canada.

Additionally, this study was also encouraged by the IIa Level of Recommendation by the European Society of Cardiology in its 2013 Guidelines for the Management of Stable Coronary Artery Disease, which stated that EECP Therapy should be considered to help relieve symptoms for patients with angina. As a result, Dr. Jolicouer and his fellow investigators believe that EECP is an important option in addressing the need for new angina treatments in Canada.

The aired segment, which also includes a video statement in support of EECP Therapy by Dr. Gregory Barsness, a published cardiology researcher and interventional cardiologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota as well as an interview with a patient who has benefited from receiving EECP Therapy, can be viewed on the CTV website.

Per the segment, Dr. Jolicouer maintains that it is not unusual for patients to see positive results from EECP Therapy and believes that EECP should be made available to a wider population of patients in Canada. The researchers plan on presenting their findings at a major cardiology conference this coming fall. We agree with Dr. Jolicouer and look forward to seeing the results from their trial!

Local Patient Spotlight: “EECP Therapy is Marvelous”

As you know, we at Vasomedical love hearing success stories from patients. This week, we spoke to one Manhattan-based patient, a 74 year old man who asked to remain anonymous on the blog. He took a few minutes out of his day to tell us his story.

Before his treatment, the patient said that he was bent over and was only able to walk two to three blocks before getting tired. He is diabetic and had unfortunately lost all feeling in one of his feet in addition to having two herniated discs in his back.

Upon hearing about EECP Therapy from a friend, he went to check it out. “At that point, I figured I had nothing to lose,” he told us.

“Now I can walk for miles and I’m standing up straight; last weekend I walked five miles with no trouble at all. I’d also say I’ve gotten about 75 percent of the feeling back in my one foot. It has been night and day – EECP Therapy is a marvelous thing, it changed my life.”

The patient says he now recommends EECP Therapy to anyone who asks and notes that he can do things that he couldn’t do before.

This story is not uncommon and we love to hear success stories. If you have a story to tell, please email us at vaso@kcsa.com.

 

When Doctors Speak Out…It’s Time to Listen

In a letter that appeared in the June 2014 British Journal of Cardiology, Robin Roberts, a cardiologist in Wimbledon, England speaks out and calls for a re-assessment of Enhanced External Counterpulsation (EECP®) Therapy in the United Kingdom.

Dr. Roberts points out that the 2013 European Society of Cardiology (ESC) Guidelines on the Management of Stable Coronary Artery Disease gave EECP a 2a level of recommendation, meaning that EECP treatment “should be” considered for patients with refractory angina, which supports the position that the published clinical studies have provided adequate evidence to support the safety and  effectiveness of EECP.

In 2009, EECP was subjected to a review and economic analysis in the U.K. During this examination, the results indicated that there wasn’t enough firm evidence to recommend its use in standard clinical practices. However that was more than five years ago. Since then, a number of National Health Service (NHS) hospitals and private hospitals and clinics continued to provide EECP Therapy. Coverage was provided for the treatment by both the NHS and private insurance companies on a “named patient” or case-by-case basis.

Citing the significant amount of clinical knowledge about the mechanisms of action and more recent clinical results that have been published in peer reviewed medical journals about EECP during the past five years, Dr. Roberts puts forth the argument that it is time for a reassessment of EECP in the U.K.

At Vasomedical, we support Dr. Roberts, a long time provider of EECP Therapy and one of its strongest advocates in Europe. We believe that the scales of evidence for the acceptance of EECP have begun to tip in favor of this treatment, an often overlooked, but extremely effective therapy.

Meet the German Doctor who “Speaks the Language of the Patient”

Dr. Kai Ruffmann is a cardiologist based in Germany who has been recommending and administering EECP® Therapy treatments for his patients for more than ten years. He has treated more than 250 patients in the hospital he worked at in the Black Forest region, and recently opened his own cardiology and internal medicine clinic in Baden-Baden.

Though various sites in Germany have provided EECP Therapy for many years, Dr. Ruffmann is the first German provider to get one of the German health insurance companies – a sickness fund – to provide reimbursement coverage for EECP Therapy, which is a huge win.

Germany has a universal multi-payer healthcare system with two main types of health insurance: “Law-enforced health insurance” (Gesetzliche Krankenversicherung), also known as sickness funds, and “Private” (Private Krankenversicherung). The “law enforced health insurance” is available for people who fall below a certain income level, and is provided through private non-profit sickness funds at common rates for all members. This insurance is paid for with joint employer-employee contributions.

The recently updated 2013 European Society of Cardiology Guidelines granted a IIa Level of Recommendation for EECP Therapy in treating refractory angina patients and this upgrade in status helps with reimbursement from insurance companies. At Vasomedical, we know that EECP Therapy changes lives, and we are very pleased to see that additional insurance companies around the world are beginning to accept this treatment and reimburse for it.

We appreciate Dr. Ruffmann’s commitment to his patients and his support of EECP Therapy on their behalf. We will continue to work with him to expand reimbursement coverage for more patients in Germany and Europe.

Tales from the Heart: Portland Edition

Sometimes the road to health can be a long and challenging one, as one patient from Portland knew all too well.

This 63-year old female with heredity heart disease and Type 1 Diabetes had undergone four bypasses by age 49. Despite the procedures, the arteries in her heart were too small to supply it heart with the blood and oxygen it needed to function without constant chest pain. For years she wore nitro patches to try to achieve relief.

When she began receiving EECP® Therapy treatment at Heart Centers of America, LLC in Portland, the improvements came within – weeks. Initially, she was too weak to drive herself the 58 miles to her EECP appointments, but by the third week she was able to drive herself to her appointments without any pain or discomfort. Shortly after, she was completing everyday tasks – such as bathing, cooking and having phone conversations – with ease.

According to this Portland patient:

EECP has been the most wonderful, lifesaving, non-invasive treatment I’ve ever experienced. EECP is the only treatment that affords me quality of life! I was able to spend Thanksgiving with my children and grandchildren because of EECP. I would encourage anyone prescribed EECP treatment to do so, as soon as possible!”

Now that’s a ringing endorsement! We love receiving great success stories like this. If you or a loved one has a story about your experience with EECP Therapy, please share it with us at vaso@kcsa.com.