Doctors at Stony Brook University Hospital are working on a study involving the infusion of 10 million stem cells harvested from bone marrow in the hip directly into the heart’s blood vessels of heart attack patients in order to regenerated damaged tissue.
According to Dr. Luis Gruberg director of interventional cardiological research at the Stony Brook Heart Institute, he and Dr. Allen Jeremias, director of the hospital intensive care unit led a clinical trial last month in which they harvested and then injected a 66-year old male patient’s own stem cells into the blocked artery responsible for his heart attack.
“It was a blessing,” said the patient, who had been visiting Long Island from the Midwest (and wished to remain anonymous). “While a heart attack, in itself, is not a blessing, the gesalt of how everything worked out was one in disguise.”
Note:According to the CDC, nearly 715,000 people suffer a heart attacks across the country each year; with approximately 525,000 of those first attacks, and another 190,000 reported to be repeat episodes. They also stated that someone in the US dies from a heart attack every 44 second. If doctors can successfully regenerate damaged tissue, it is hoped that they can drastically reduce those numbers.