South Carolina health system creates response team for rare heart condition

Charleston, S.C.-based MUSC Health has created a cardiogenic shock response team to improve outcomes for those who experience the rare but serious condition. 

While only about 10 percent of heart attack patients suffer cardiogenic shock, which occurs when the heart can't pump enough blood to the organs, it's the leading cause of death after cardiac arrest. Abnormal heart rhythms and certain medications are also linked to the condition, according to a July 14 news release. 

In response, MUSC Health physicians launched a multidisciplinary cardiogenic shock team aimed at increasing that survival rate. Similar programs in other regions, such as the National Cardiogenic Shock Initiative in Detroit, showed survival rates rose to 71 percent. 

"There is increasing interest in 'hub and spoke' models for cardiogenic shock at regional health systems across the country, with data demonstrating real improvements in patient outcomes over relatively short periods of time after implementation," said Arman Kilic, MD, surgical director of the heart failure and heart transplant program at MUSC Health, and who helped launch the response team in June.

A cardiac surgeon, interventional cardiologist, heart failure cardiologist and the cardiovascular intensive care unit staff are all part of the cardiogenic shock team, which has assessed a dozen patients since launch. The team responds to patients being cared for at any South Carolina hospital through a consult line physicians can call. 

While some patients can be cared for from where they are, the team may recommend transferring certain patients to MUSC Health. 

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