London: A vibrating vest could be a lifesaver for patients who have had a heart attack.
Designed to be worn straight after an attack, the special vest contains a device that generates low frequency soundwaves to make it vibrate and stimulate circulation to the heart, a DailyMail report claimed.
The soundwaves spread across the chest and shake the heart and its blood vessels, breaking up blockages stopping blood flow.
Researchers, who are about to start a clinical trial at Mount Sinai Medical Center in the U.S., say that it reduces long-term, potentially fatal damage to the heart and enhances the effects of medication, as it opens up the arteries faster.
Every year, about 175,000 people in the UK have a heart attack — roughly one every three minutes.
They occur when the arteries that supply the heart muscle with oxygenated blood are blocked by a clot or a build-up of fatty deposits (plaque).
If the blood supply is cut off, that part of the heart muscle starts to die.
A patient's survival and any long-term damage hinge on how much muscle dies during the attack.
The smaller the area affected and the faster the blockage is removed, the greater the chance of survival and recovery.
In an emergency, paramedics give aspirin pills or glyceryl trinitrate spray under the tongue to increase blood supply to the heart by widening blood vessels.
But often patients need to be taken to hospital for life-saving medication to dissolve the blockages and surgery to keep the artery open.
The new treatment — upper torso vibro-acoustic stimulation — can be used by paramedics to clear arteries faster.
This, in turn, can increase the speed at which the anti-clotting drugs work by getting medication to the site of the blockage more quickly, report researchers in the online journal Cath Lab Digest.
The vest is fitted with a generator that sits over the chest.