St. Mary’s Is First In Region To Offer First-Of-Its-Kind Dissolving Heart Stent(Evansville, IN) St. Mary’s Health, part of Ascension, the nation’s largest Catholic and non-profit health system, has become the first health system in Southwest Indiana and one of four in the entire state to offer patients with coronary artery disease a new treatment option – the world’s first FDA-approved dissolving heart stent.The use of stents has been shown to be important during the first three months after a blocked artery has been opened. After that, the artery can typically remain open on its own, making dissolving stents a natural next step in stent innovation.The Absorb stent works similarly to a metal stent: It is placed into the artery and expanded so that it pushes plaque against the artery wall and enables better blood flow. Eventually, new tissue grows over the old tissue and the stent is no longer needed. However, unlike metal stents, which are permanent, Absorb is made of naturally dissolving material, similar to dissolving sutures. The stent gradually disappears over approximately three years, after it has kept the clogged artery open and promoted healing of the treated artery segment.“When you break a bone and get a cast, the cast comes off once the bone has healed, providing you a full range of motion. This is what we can now offer many patients through the Absorb stent,” said Dr. Philip Casino, interventional cardiologist. St. Mary’s is the first in the region to use the dissolvable stent.While the Absorb stent is an exciting new development, it’s not quite ready to be used for each patient. The dissolvable stent is currently only available in a relatively limited number of sizes when compared to traditional metallic stents. Additionally, there are certain places in the heart where metallic stents might still be preferred.But for patients who are eligible for the Absorb stent, there’s no question the magical device makes a difference.“With Absorb, we’re able to leave a patient’s options open should they need future intervention,” Dr. Casino notes. “It allows us to more effectively treat those patients who may not be ideal for a metallic stent.”Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women around the world and coronary artery disease is the most common type of heart disease. It affects 15 million people in the U.S., but can be prevented with assistance from your doctor and living a healthier lifestyle.FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmail
The European Central Bank (ECB) has signalled its intention to end its €2.4trn bond-buying programme at the end of this year.However, in an announcement deemed by some investors as surprisingly dovish, the central bank indicated that it could keep interest rates at their current ultra-low levels until well into 2019.Speaking in Latvia yesterday, ECB president Mario Draghi said the bank would halve the monthly value of assets purchased through its quantitative easing (QE) programme for the last three months of this year, from €30bn to €15bn.As long as inflation remained within its desired range, the ECB said it would cease buying new assets at the end of December. Source: ECBECB president Mario Draghi (second right) addresses media in Riga on 14 JuneThe ECB planned to keep reinvesting the proceeds from maturing bonds purchased through QE “for as long as necessary to maintain favourable liquidity conditions and an ample degree of monetary accommodation”, it said in a statement yesterday.Draghi told journalists gathered in the Latvian capital Riga that “significant monetary policy stimulus” was still necessary to support prices and inflation.He added that the ECB “stands ready to adjust all of its instruments as appropriate” to meet its inflation target of close to 2%.‘Unnecessarily dovish’Nick Peters, multi-asset portfolio manager at Fidelity International, argued that the cautious tone was “unnecessary”.While the end to QE was expected by markets, he said the bank’s decision to commit to not hike rates until later in 2019 was “surprising” given that inflation forecasts indicated that the bank’s target was in sight.“Second, extrapolating the steady fall in unemployment the euro-zone has now enjoyed for many years, the [unemployment] rate will be back at 2007’s low levels by the time the ECB hikes for the first time this cycle,” Peters added.“The slowing in euro-zone data at the start of this year is clear, but this feels like an overreaction from a central bank that we would expect to remain a steady hand with a medium-term outlook.”Salman Ahmed, chief investment strategist at Lombard Odier Investment Managers, described the comments as “firmly dovish”, despite the reduction in stimulus.“The still quite dovish ECB should also further help European risky assets which had seen risk premia rise on the back of developments in Italy,” Ahmed said. “All in all, global liquidity is moving towards a more tightening stance but the ECB is playing its role in trying to ensure that the journey remains gradual and anchored.”Currency movementsThe euro was likely to weaken against the dollar, according to Larry Hatheway, chief economist at Swiss asset manager GAM, based on the contrast between the Federal Reserve’s plan to raise interest rates twice more by the end of this year, and the ECB’s more conservative stance.David Riley, chief investment strategist at BlueBay, added: “The euro is understandably weakening against the dollar with the Fed ever more confident in the economic outlook and the need to raise interest rates, and the ECB that remains cautious about removing its extraordinary monetary support.“European government bonds will stay very low, anchored by a negative ECB deposit rate, while growth-sensitive assets will be supported by continued ultra-easy monetary policy.” The Euro Stoxx 50 index closed 1.4% higher last night, while German 10-year Bund yields up 0.5% during the day at 6pm UK time on Thursday. Asset managers were surprised by the tone of the president’s comments, however, as he spoke of keeping interest rates low at least through the summer of 2019.