What is EKOS? This medical procedure saved an Irmo woman's life - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

What is EKOS? This medical procedure saved an Irmo woman's life

A 36-year-old Irmo woman started having shortness of breath. That developed into chest pains and dizziness. A CT scan revealed a life-threatening health situation - a blood clot. A 36-year-old Irmo woman started having shortness of breath. That developed into chest pains and dizziness. A CT scan revealed a life-threatening health situation - a blood clot.
A 36-year-old Irmo woman started having shortness of breath. That developed into chest pains and dizziness. A CT scan revealed a life-threatening health situation - a blood clot. A 36-year-old Irmo woman started having shortness of breath. That developed into chest pains and dizziness. A CT scan revealed a life-threatening health situation - a blood clot.
That developed into chest pains and dizziness. A CT scan revealed  a life-threatening health situation - a blood clot. Laura Harter never would have guessed she had clots in both lungs. That developed into chest pains and dizziness. A CT scan revealed a life-threatening health situation - a blood clot. Laura Harter never would have guessed she had clots in both lungs.
That developed into chest pains and dizziness. A CT scan revealed  a life-threatening health situation - a blood clot. Laura Harter never would have guessed she had clots in both lungs. That developed into chest pains and dizziness. A CT scan revealed a life-threatening health situation - a blood clot. Laura Harter never would have guessed she had clots in both lungs.
IRMO, SC (WIS) -

A 36-year-old Irmo woman started having shortness of breath. That developed into chest pains and dizziness.

A CT scan revealed a life-threatening health situation - a blood clot. Laura Harter would never have guessed she had clots in both lungs. Laura Harter enjoys the calm of working out at Chapin Yoga Center.  Her sense of peace is much greater now having recently successfully come through a very serious health scare.

"I was walking out to my car and I stopped to kneel down because I was short of breath. I couldn't walk any farther. And then I sat down at a picnic table and I passed out and I woke up surrounded by people," Harter said.

Doctors ran numerous tests and found nothing at first. Then they did an Echocardiogram and it revealed the left part of Laura's heart was inflamed. Then a CT scan revealed a pulmonary embolism. She had blood clots in her lungs.

"That does two major things. It inhibits the body's ability to exchange oxygen so she wasn't getting enough oxygen to her organs. And then the other thing, especially in her place, that pressure buildup was causing her heart to be under a great deal of strain,” says Dr. Brandon Drafts of Lexington Cardiology.

He used EKOS on Laura. It's essentially a catheter placed inside the lungs that go through the clots. 

"The end portion of the catheter has many side ports so that allows a clot-busting medicine to diffuse and treat the clot in many different segments. The other part of EKOS that is great is that inside that catheter you have an ultrasound core that produces ultrasound waves and that helps break up the clot to allow further penetration of the medicine in there to help dissolve the clot."

Within just a couple days, Laura felt significant relief.

"It was basically going from zero to 100.  It was much better and I could actually take a breath without it stopping right here," says Laura.

Right now, Lexington Medical Center is using the technology for pulmonary embolisms. Dr. Drafts prefers it over giving anti-clot medicine in a large dose through an IV.

"The problem with that is that the medicine goes not only to the lungs but it goes to other organs and that greatly increases the risk of bleeding.  So with EKOS you're able to target your therapy to where the clots are and avoid the other bleeding risks," says Dr. Drafts.

Dr. Drafts used the EKOS (echo s) catheters in Laura's left and right lungs to bust up the clots. It was a relatively quick success.

"You can go in, not have to have surgery and get this procedure done and be in and out of the hospital quick.

I felt, it was like night and day from when I went in there till when he was done,” says Laura.

What caused the blood clots?  Doctors think the birth control pill she was taking may have increased her risk.  She'll have to be on blood thinners for a while.

Copyright 2018 WIS. All rights reserved. 

  • South Carolina news on WIStv.comNEWSMore>>

  • Fatal crash blocks all lanes on I-77SB near Blythewood Rd.

    Fatal crash blocks all lanes on I-77SB near Blythewood Rd.

    Wednesday, June 20 2018 7:44 AM EDT2018-06-20 11:44:57 GMT
    A collision on I-77SB at Blythwood Rd. has closed all lanes. (WIS)A collision on I-77SB at Blythwood Rd. has closed all lanes. (WIS)

    A fatal crash has blocked all lanes to traffic on I-77 Southbound at Exit 27 near Blythewood Road.

    More >>

    A fatal crash has blocked all lanes to traffic on I-77 Southbound at Exit 27 near Blythewood Road.

    More >>
  • Trump administration pulls US out of UN human rights council

    Trump administration pulls US out of UN human rights council

    Tuesday, June 19 2018 12:00 PM EDT2018-06-19 16:00:59 GMT
    Wednesday, June 20 2018 7:43 AM EDT2018-06-20 11:43:28 GMT
    (Salvatore Di Nolfi/Keystone via AP, File). FILE - This is a Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2008 file photo, showing a general view of the Human Rights Room (Room XX) at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. Diplomats say the United...(Salvatore Di Nolfi/Keystone via AP, File). FILE - This is a Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2008 file photo, showing a general view of the Human Rights Room (Room XX) at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. Diplomats say the United...
    The Trump administration is poised to announce its departure from the United Nations' main human rights body in its latest withdrawal from an international institution.More >>
    The Trump administration is poised to announce its departure from the United Nations' main human rights body in its latest withdrawal from an international institution.More >>
  • APNewsBreak: Youngest migrants held in 'tender age' shelters

    APNewsBreak: Youngest migrants held in 'tender age' shelters

    Tuesday, June 19 2018 9:12 PM EDT2018-06-20 01:12:25 GMT
    Wednesday, June 20 2018 7:42 AM EDT2018-06-20 11:42:50 GMT
    Nicole Hernandez, of the Mexican state of Guerrero, holds on to her mother as they wait with other families to request political asylum in the United States, across the border in Tijuana, Mexico, on Wednesday, June 13, 2018. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)Nicole Hernandez, of the Mexican state of Guerrero, holds on to her mother as they wait with other families to request political asylum in the United States, across the border in Tijuana, Mexico, on Wednesday, June 13, 2018. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

    Migrant babies and young children are being held in special "tender age" shelters after being taken from their parents at the US-Mexico border.

    More >>

    Migrant babies and young children are being held in special "tender age" shelters after being taken from their parents at the US-Mexico border.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly