An estimated 1 or 2 of every 1,000 people will develop a pulmonary embolism annually — and that the condition will prove fatal for 60,000 to 100,000 people each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Southside Hospital in Bay shore is using a new approach to treating these highly dangerous blood clots, the symptoms of which can mimic a heart attack —such as shortness of breath, chest pain and cough, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Southside’s new EkoSonic Endovascular System is a minimally-invasive option used to break up a pulmonary embolism, which is a blood clot in the lungs that typically forms and travels from the legs through a condition called deep vein thrombosis.

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It employs an ultrasound to guide a catheter to the clot and dissolve it more completely and accurately. Its use can shorten a person’s treatment time and lowers the risk of complications, according to the hospital. 

This is the only endovascular device with approval from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration to treat blood clots in the lungs, according to its developer, EKOS.

“This device, along with the expertise of our team, has helped our patients rest, assured that their clot will be targeted and dissolved with fewer side effects than other procedures offer,” said Dr. Puneet Gandotra, the director of Southside’s cardiac catheterization laboratories.

The pulmonary embolism response team at the hospital includes members of the cardiothoracic surgery, critical care and pulmonary medicine departments.

“And without a team effort, this program would not have come to fruition,” Dr. Gandotra said.


For more information about the procedure and other pulmonary embolism treatments at Southside Hospital in Bay Shore, call 1-855-HEART-11.