McLaren Macomb's Pulmonary Embolism Response Team (PERT) and the EkoSonic® endovascular procedure enhance patient outcomes

McLaren Macomb has established the Pulmonary Embolism Response Team (PERT) to utilize the latest technology to quickly treat pulmonary embolisms (PE). Composed of cardiologists, pulmonologists, emergency medicine physicians and vascular surgeons, the goal of McLaren Macomb PERT is to reduce long-term symptoms of patients with pulmonary embolisms - a blood clot blocking flow in one of the pulmonary arteries. Dr. M. Blair DeYoung

The formal PERT team activation process will begin with a patient arriving at one of the facilities - by ambulance or other means - presenting with symptoms consistent with PE (chest pain, lightheadedness, rapid heart rate, shortness of breath). Upon confirmation via CAT scan, the team is activated. If needed, patients will be transferred via ambulance to McLaren Macomb interventional area for treatment.

Patients diagnosed with a pulmonary embolisms (blood clots in the lungs), and suffering from symptoms associated with reduced blood flow, including shortness of breath, shallow breathing, sharp pains in the chest, will then undergo the EkoSonic® Endovascular procedure designed to break up blood clots that have formed in the circulatory system, speeding up removal and enhancing clinical outcomes. The technology thins a clot's fibrous outer mesh-called fibrin-using an acoustic pulse field to make the clot more porous while creating pressure, which transports a clot-dissolving drug deep inside the clot. Compared to traditional catheter-driven and drug therapy techniques, the less invasive EkoSonic® Endovascular approach utilizes a sophisticated catheter and an ultrasonic core to target and break up the clot, increasing its removal and enhancing clinical outcomes. The procedure lowers the risk of bleeding and dissolves clots without damaging blood vessels, valves or artery walls.

"Until recently, PE treatments were mainly medication-based with few, invasive procedures," said M. Blair DeYoung, D.O., interventional cardiologist with the McLaren Cardiovascular Institute and organizer of McLaren Macomb PERT. "Now, having access to innovative technology, minimally-invasive procedures are available to us to treat this condition quicker, restoring blood flow and setting the patient up for reduced symptoms and a higher quality of life in the long-term."

Breaking up the clot is essential, and using this new approach allows cardiologists to do that less invasively with less risk of complication, leading to positive outcomes. Left untreated, pulmonary embolism can cause permanent damage to the lungs or even death. A silent and fatal epidemic, most patients who die from PE are not diagnosed at pre-mortem, and are not even suspected pre-mortem.

To learn more about the McLaren Cardiovascular Institute and heart care at McLaren Macomb, visit