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Magdalena Demucha - New Member of the Board and Chief Financial Officer

Magdalena Demucha - New Member of the Board and Chief Financial Officer

Magdalena Demucha - New Member of the Board and Chief Financial Officer

On July 16, Mrs. Magdalena Demucha was appointed as a new Member of the Management Board and Financial Director of American Heart of Poland S.A.

 

Mrs. Demucha is a graduate of the University of Economics in Krakow. In 2009, she graduated from the Master's program in Management with the specialization in Controlling and Corporate Finance Management.

 

Mrs. Demucha is currently acquiring the statutory auditor qualifications.

 

Mrs. Demucha began her professional career in 2007 in the audit department in the Krakow office of the Ernst & Young company, where she worked until 2014. In November 2014, Mrs. Magda joined the AHP SA team taking the position group reporting specialist, then in November 2017 she took the position of the deputy finance director.

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American Heart of Poland supported the organization of the 4th of July Picnic organized by the American Chamber of Commerce in Poland (AmCham)

American Heart of Poland supported the organization of the 4th of July Picnic organized by the American Chamber of Commerce in Poland (AmCham)

American Heart of Poland supported the organization of the 4th of July Picnic organized by the American Chamber of Commerce in Poland (AmCham).

During the Saturday event at the Łazienki Królewskie Park in Warsaw in our Mobile Heart Clinic, we provided free ECG tests, echocardiography, carotid ultrasound, pressure and sugar measurements.

American Heart of Poland is a member of the American Chamber of Commerce in Poland.

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The greatest challenge of cardiology - do not allow heart failure

The greatest challenge of cardiology - do not allow heart failure

On 22-23 March 2018, in Ustron, the conference of the Interventional Cardiovascular Intervention Association (SZKI) "Interventional CardioVascular Forum (ICVF)" was held for the eleventh time. The annual meeting of cardiologists, cardiac surgeons, residents, nurses and representatives of the Polish medical industry was devoted this year to the treatment of heart structural diseases, advanced coronary disease and atherosclerosis, and the practical use of telemedicine in cardiology. In addition, during the conference, cardiovascular procedures were transmitted live, so that its participants could in practice learn about specialized methods and techniques for treating heart structural diseases.

To introduce the discussion on modern treatment of heart diseases a special lecture arranged: "Cardiovascular medicine of the 21st century, ambulatory coronary and intravascular interventions", which was given by a special guest from San Antonio, USA, Professor Radosław Stefan Kiesz, co-founder and Vice Chairman of the Supervisory Board of American Heart of Poland (AHP), Clinical Professor of Medicine and Cardiology at the University of Texas. Conference participants agreed that the greatest challenge in their professional work is early diagnosis and treatment of heart disease, so as to prevent the development of heart failure. Dr hab. Piotr Buszman, vice president of preclinical research and head of the Experimental Laboratory of the American Heart of Poland Research and Development Center (AHP), stressed that this allows to avoid palliative treatment and gives patients better prognosis and a chance for a longer life and return to professional and family life. The ally of doctors in the fight for patients' health is modern medical equipment - he explained to the gathered prof. dr hab. Paweł Buszman, President of the Board of the Polish-American Heart Clinics (PAKS).

- Polish products and services in the field of telemedicine are in no way inferior to those used in other regions of the world - argued Dr. Hab. Krzysztof Milewski, General Director of the American Heart of Poland Research and Development Center (AHP) - although they lack support and funding from the government. Polish solutions are often even more innovative and cheaper than foreign counterparts, and thus more accessible to patients - added Dr. hab. Milewski.

The confirmation of the effective use of telemedicine in cardiology is the heart monitoring system presented at the SZKI Conference, created and tested by the American Heart of Poland (AHP), which involved nearly 1000 patients. Professor dr hab. Paweł Buszman expressed the hope that in a short time this system will be used throughout the country.

The invaluable educational value of the Conference were innovative revascularization treatments in the form of direct live broadcasts of treatments performed by teams of doctors at the Polish-American Heart Clinics in Ustronie and Bielsko-Biała ("live case"). Among the presented treatments were, among others rotablation procedures or the use of bioresorbable magnesium platfom in the treatment of coronary heart disease. The transmissions were carried out by teams composed of: prof. dr hab. Paweł Buszman, President of the Board of the Polish-American Heart Clinics (PAKS), prof. dr hab. Sławomir Dobrzycki, Head of the Clinic of Invasive Cardiology at the University Clinical Hospital in Białystok, dr hab. Krzysztof Milewski, General Director of the American Heart of Poland Research and Development Center (AHP), dr hab. Piotr Buszman, Deputy Director of Preclinical Research and Head of the Experimental Laboratory of the American Heart of Poland Research and Development Center (AHP), Dr. Aleksander Żurakowski, Deputy Director for Clinical Research of the American Heart of Poland Research Center (AHP), Dr. Marek Król, Ordynator 1st Department of Cardiology and Angiology of the Polish-American Heart Clinic in Ustron (PAKS), Vice President of the American Heart of Poland (AHP), Medical Director, Dr. Marek Cisowski, Head of the Cardiology Department of the Polish-American Heart Clinic in Bielsko-Biała (PAKS) ), dr Bogdan Gorycki, Head of the Cardiology Department of the Polish-American Heart Clinic in Bielsko-Biała (PAKS), dr Marcin Dębiński, Third Department of Invasive Cardiology, Angiology and Electrocardiology of Polish-American Heart Clinics in Dąbrowa Górnicza (PAKS) and Dr. Przemysław Nowakowski , Head of the Małopolska Heart-Vascular Center of the Polish-American Heart Clinics in Chrz new (PAKS). The participants of the conference had an unusual opportunity to observe experienced cardiologists and cardiac surgeons at work, as well as to actively participate in the treatments, commenting on them and asking questions.

 

During the conference, the General Meeting and the Meeting of the Board of the Professional Interventional Cardiologists Association (SZKI) were held, during which the official position of the SZKA regarding the current difficult situation in organizing the treatment of infarction was accepted.

We have been observing an increase in the number of patients with myocardial infarctions and those suffering from heart failure for about a year. Undoubtedly, this is the result of lowering the valuation of benefits in cardiology. There is a situation where we have funds to treat complications of heart diseases, and we do not have to prevent them. The prognosis of patients in such cases is very bad. This translates into an increase in cardiovascular mortality in Poland - said Prof. dr hab. Paweł Buszman, President of the Board of the Polish-American Heart Clinics (PAKS).

Participants of the Conference were also debating the problem of shortage of medical staff, which they have to face every day. The lowering of valuations in cardiology caused that many physicians are more profitable to work in POZ facilities than to be on duty in hospitals, and therefore the lack of personnel in the latter - noted on the example of the Invasive Clinical Cardiology Clinic at the University Clinical Hospital in Białystok, prof. dr hab. Sławomir Dobrzycki. This translates into a decrease in the availability of cardiac services and a smaller number of performed procedures, which in turn leads to an increase in the number of heart attacks and an increase in the number of patients with heart failure. This is a straightforward way to increase mortality among Poles, moreover, it has negative financial consequences, both for the healthcare system and the entire economy - summarized Prof. dr hab. Paweł Buszman.

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AHP experts appeared in key sessions of the HCC Health Challenge Congress 2018

AHP experts appeared in key sessions of the HCC Health Challenge Congress 2018

American Heart of Poland experts were speakers, panellists and moderators of 15 sessions at the HCC Health Challenges Congress 2018 in Katowice.

During the most important plenary session "Round Table of Health Challenges" Prof. Paweł Buszman, President of AHP, was one of the panelists. In his speeches, he stressed the consequences of reductions in the pricing of cardiological procedures and the introduction of limits in pre-infarction treatment. In this way, great effort from Polish cardiology, which recorded great results and a significant drop in mortality, were simply wasted. After lowering the pricing, the availability of cardiovascular services decreased, the number of procedures performed decreased and mortality increased.

According to the GUS data from January, all this turned into additional 16,000 deaths in 2017. We therefore see a definite need for a thorough analysis, although we have our thoughts and see what it looks like - less patients are effectively treated intervening, more conservatively. Minister Łanda said to our protests: "the market will respond". So we say that in fact "the market replied", but not increasing the queue as in orthopedic but with the greater number of crosses in cemeteries. - said Prof. Paweł Buszman.

Professor Bushman reminded that in 2017, additional PLN 8 billion was spent on health care. Unfortunately, it did not contribute to the survival of patients. On the contrary, in 2017, 16,000 more Poles died than in the previous year. This money was spent inefficiently.

Professor Bushman was also a speaker and panelist in the session entitled "Value Based Medicine", in which he presented the cardiovascular medicine as an example of value based medicine. In his speech, Prof. Busman presented data confirming the qualitative leap in Polish cardiology, which translated into a decrease in patient mortality. A two-fold reduction in valuations resulted in a higher number of heart attacks and greater mortality.

In this session (co-organized by AHP) we had following speakers: Andrzej Sośnierz - MP, member of the health committee, Jakub Szulc - director at EY, Małgorzata Gałązka-Sobotka - director at Łazarski University, Zbigniew Migdalski, president, Siemens Healthcare Sp. z o. o. and Rebecca Richards, Director of the National Health Service, Wales Finance Academy.

All participants of the discussion pointed out that in Poland the health care system should be changed in terms of quality and efficiency.

In the session of "Medical Marketing", Professor Andrzej Bochenek appeared as a panelist. The professor pointed out that the rankings are not a reliable source of information. They can be manipulated. A better source of information for patients would be registries of medical services, such as the National Registry of Cardiac Surgery. Unfortunately, this registry is not generally available. According to the professor registries of this type should be made public and also periodically controlled, so that patients can assess in which institutions they receive the best care. We need to focus on quality - emphasizes Professor and adds that a good example of introducing a qualitative element in healthcare is the KOS -Zawał program.

Associated Professor Krzysztof Milewski was the moderator of the "Telemedicine: fashion or need" session. Docent pointed out that telemedicine gains in importance year by year and affects not only the health of patients, but also the economy. It is estimated that it gives savings of 0.35% of GDP - notes Krzysztof Milewski. Clinical trials show the positive effects of using telemedicine - calculates Milewski - reduction of medical costs, improvement of patient outcomes, shortening the time of filling in medical records by up to 60% (British example), increasing the time for patients available to doctors.


Associated Professor Piotr Buszman in the session "Dr. Google, Dr. Watson or Dr. Kowalski - who will be treating us in the future?" he pointed out how important new technologies can play in the education of future generations of doctors and how to use them wisely.

Other sessions with the participation of American Heart of Poland experts:

Professor Paweł Buszman: Cardiovascular diseases - the main cause of death in Poland: can we change unfavorable demographic trends and how?

Innovations in medicine - part I. New, innovation and a breakthrough in medicine and pharmacy

The impact of public health on the economy

Dr Zbigniew Czyż, chairman of the AHP Supervision Council: Investments in hospital treatment

Marcin Pakulski, deputy director of medical affairs at AHP: Health care reform - hospital perspective

Professor Andrzej Madej: Poles - drug addicts?

Dr hab. Piotr Buszman: Will technology replace the doctor? Interdisciplinary session

Dr. hab. Krzysztof Milewski: Ecology and medicine

Comprehensive or coordinated care - real possibilities or just a password?

American Heart of Poland also provided a mobile heart clinic during the Silesian Day of Health. During the congress, the company also presented its AHP Research and Development Center.

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Jacek Rydzek - new Vice President and Chief Operating Officer

Jacek Rydzek - new Vice President and Chief Operating Officer

On February 8, Mr. Jacek Rydzek was appointed the Vice-President of the Management Board and Chief Operating Officer of American Heart of Poland S.A. He has been working at AHP since 2009. He replaced Mrs. Gabriela Wanzek in this position.

In 2009-2012 he was the Head of Administration at the Polish-American Heart Clinic in Nysa and from 2012 the Deputy Director for Operations.

Mr. Jacek Rydzek is a graduate of the Opole University of Technology. He graduated from the Faculty of Production Management and Engineering in the field of Corporate Management.

He worked as a manager and director of production plants and ran his own business.

Good luck in this new, responsible role!

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Vice president Gabriela Wanzek is retiring

Vice president Gabriela Wanzek is retiring

January 31, after more than 10 years of work at American Heart of Poland S.A. The Vice-President of the Management Board and Chief Operating Officer, Mrs. Gabriela Wanzek, goes into well-deserved retirement.

In the years 2007-2011, Mrs. Wanzek was the Head of the Administration of the Polish-American Heart Clinic in Kędzierzyn Koźle. From 2011 to 2018, she was a Member of the Management Board and Operations Director, Administrative Director and will be overesed by the Operational Director and the Vice President of the Management Board.

Mrs. Wanzek remains a member of the Supervisory Boards of Ustroń Uzdrowisko (AHP Group) and NAFIS (AHP Group).

Thank you for more than a decade of fruitful work for the American Heart of Poland and we wish you well-deserved rest and a lot of joy in retirement.

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Another great success of our researchers from the Center for Cardiovascular Research and Development American Heart of Poland (CCRD AHP)

Another great success of our researchers from the Center for Cardiovascular Research and Development American Heart of Poland (CCRD AHP)

One of the most recognized and most important medical and scientific journals "The Lancet", published the results of a six-month trial of treatment of coronary heart disease with the innovative MiStent stent, which was compared with the commonly used Xience stent in clinical practice. Researchers from CCRD AHP played a key role in the study, involving the optical coherence tomography of the stent (OCT) at 6 months after implantation, which allowed a detailed assessment of their healing and effectiveness. MiStent is the only stent on the market that is characterized by a very long time of drug release to the vessel walls (about 9 months) which gives a great opportunity to avoid re-revascularization. In the published paper, the OCT performed by the doctors of CCRD AHP proved a better MiStent performance with an identical safety profile compared to Xience stents. Doctors assume that the results of this trial may result into less frequent re-treatment, which will be a great benefit for patients and for the entire health care system.

That is why it is worth investing in science and searching for more and more effective methods of treatment. Knowing that the results of our research help save many lives, gives the whole team lots of satisfaction and inspiration for further efforts - says Assoc. Prof. Krzysztof Milewski, Director of the AHP Research and Development Center.

 Polish cardiology is highly valued in the world, what makes us very proud. Investment in health is always the best investment - emphasizes Professor Paweł Buszman, CEO of the American Heart of Poland

 Co-authors of the work published in the Lancet are CBR researchers (AHP): Assoc. Prof. MD, PhD Krzysztof Milewski, Assoc. Prof. MD, PhD Aleksander Żurakowski,

and Prof. Md, PhD Paweł Buszman and Assoc. Prof. MD, PhD Maciej Kośmider from American Heart of Poland.

 http://www.thelancet.com/pdfs/journals/lancet/PIIS0140-6736(17)33103-3.pdf

 Congratulations to entire team for another significant, international success!

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AHP and Comarch establish cooperation to foster telemedical development

AHP and Comarch establish cooperation to foster telemedical development


American Heart of Poland S.A. (AHP) and Comarch Healthcare S.A. (Comarch) have established cooperation aimed at introducing and disseminating innovative telemedical services addressed to people suffering from cardiovascular diseases. Owing to the planned solutions, supported by clinical studies, patients discharged from hospital will be offered professional distant medical care ensuring safety on a 24/7 basis.

Recognising each other's potential, both companies have signed a letter of intent regarding their mutual strategic cooperation in the field of research and development, as well as implementation of telemedical solutions. Agreements have also been concluded with the aim to implement the HIS-based Central Patient Service System at AHP, which will serve as a platform integrated with telemedical solutions, and a means of conducting cost effectiveness analyses of the services rendered (ERP). This will foster a thorough insight into the patient's treatment process, conducted both directly in a medical facility and indirectly by the patient him/herself in line with medical and rehabilitation indications.

Since the launching of American Heart of Poland, we have provided our patients with comprehensive therapies, comprising diagnostics, treatment and rehabilitation. Considering the technological advancement, we wish to take one step forward in order to guarantee our patients adequate care also after completing the entire treatment process and being discharged home, says Prof. Paweł Buszman, President of the Board of American Heart of Poland. For this reason, we are looking forward to cooperating with one of the most successful entities in the telemedical market and to offering our patients distant cardiac care services, focused both on early diagnosis and prophylaxis, and on an ongoing monitoring of the medical condition of high-risk patients, he adds.

Through this cooperation, we will be able to cover a wide group of AHP patients with detailed monitoring. In case the examinations conducted fail to deliver an unambiguous diagnosis, it will be possible to continue medical tests in a distant mode, and the AHP staff will exercise an ongoing supervision over the patients' medical condition, taking adequate measures as necessitated by specific circumstances, explains Prof. Janusz Filipiak, Founder and President of Comarch Healthcare S.A.

        The unique combination of the Comarch e-Care technology developed by Comarch Healthcare and substantial experience of the AHP medical staff will not only provide the patients will round-the-clock care but it will also give them an opportunity to contact the medical staff by phone, using a hotline. Once the recording device identifies any cardiac rhythm abnormalities in the course of the patient's monitoring, the staff of the Heart Monitoring Centre, located within one of the AHP facilities (the 10th Interventional Cardiology, Electrophysiology and Electrical Stimulation Division of the Polish-American Health Clinics in Tychy), will take the appropriate measures, which may include calling an ambulance in the event of threat to the patient's life or health.

         Comarch e-Care is a solution intended to record and analyse cardiac data which enables a distant transmission of the medical results gathered. It comprises two units, i.e. Comarch PMA, a portable digital recorder, and an application used to analyse the EKG records. The specially-designed lithium-ion batteries allow for long-term monitoring of the patient's condition whereas an embedded activity log makes it possible to customise the measurement and alert levels detected by algorithms. Apart from ensuring medical care to people requiring cardiac monitoring or fostering heart disease diagnosis, Comarch e-Care may also prove useful in health prophylaxis or sports medicine.

         Within the framework of the AHP and Comarch cooperation, the medical facilities of the Group are planned to be equipped with modern IT, including HIS-class solutions that will allow for conducting a more efficient treatment process management and for keeping uniform electronic medical records, shared by all clinics. AHP will also be offered an opportunity to provide its patients with innovative Concierge medical services, enabling fast on-line access to medical service and advice. This will let the patients have an insight in their personal medical records through diversified channels, get their prescriptions on-line or obtain access to a knowledge base and a tailored set of indications based on their health status and medical history.

         Establishing cooperation with Comarch is another milestone extending the scope of research conducted by American Heart of Poland, pertaining to the applicability of broadly-defined telemedical solutions. The Research and Development Centre belonging to the AHP Group has received co-funding from the National Centre for Research and Development to conduct research as part of the project implemented by the consortium under the leadership of the Silesian Centre for Heart Diseases in Zabrze, entitled: The use of teletransmission of medical data with a view to improving the quality of life of people suffering from heart failure and reducing their treatment costs. The National Centre for Research and Development has also granted a subsidy to a project conducted independently by AHP, entitled: The use of modern telemedical technologies in an innovative programme of optimal cardiac rehabilitation of patients after myocardial revascularization. As part of the reference project, AHP intends to offer its patients, as a follow-up to stationary rehabilitation, an additional 12-month distant rehabilitation, making use of telemedical technologies. Around 500 patients will be equipped with adequate devices intended, among other things, for monitoring their health condition.

The American Heart of Poland Group

Set up in 2001, the American Heart of Poland Group (AHP) currently comprises over 30 life and health saving facilities that serve over 55,000 patients yearly. AHP is a leader in the field of diagnostics and treatment of circulatory system diseases in Poland. All facilities operating within AHP are on round-the-clock calls, providing care to patients with various acute coronary syndromes, including acute heart attacks. AHP has pioneered, among other things, in comprehensive treatment of patients with multiple sclerosis of coronary and peripheral arteries (including carotid artery stenosis), in performing complex coronary procedures in patients disqualified from surgical treatment, and in placing atherectomy devices to peripheral arteries in order to prevent the consequences of inadequate blood supply to lower limps. Over 300 outstanding cardiologists, cardiac surgeons and vascular surgeons provide their daily services in the facilities. AHP patients are given access to comprehensive treatment programmes that comprise prophylaxis, diagnostics, therapies employing modern intervention procedures in the field of interventional cardiology, cardiac surgery and vascular surgery, as well as rehabilitation services rendered through the Health Resort Ustroń SA. The Research and Development Centre also forms part of the AHP structure. Making use of the EU resources granted through the Innovative Economy Operational Programme, from the pool of PLN 18 million intended to support the investments exerting a major economic impact, the Research and Development Centre conducts research on treating health valve disorders, cardiac failure, and coagulation disorders and treatment.

Comarch Healthcare

Comarch Healthcare provides advanced IT solutions for medicine. It successfully combines the competences of medical facilities and tele-communications enterprises with the latest achievements in telemedicine. The company offers, among other things, medical facility management systems, solutions for doctors and telemedical services. At present, the Comarch Healthcare software is used by over 70 hospitals, and its solutions are employed on a daily basis by 25,000 users. Around 2,500,000 patients per year are served using the Comarch Healthcare systems. The solutions developed by the company support the medical sector on a 24/7/365 basis. The company manufactures, among other things, software solutions dedicated to hospitals (Comarch OptiMed), outpatient clinics (Comarch Optimed24) and doctors (medNote). Comarch Healthcare also develops innovative solutions in the field of telemedicine.

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AHP in Bielsko-Biała again awarded as the best cardiac surgery unit in Poland

AHP in Bielsko-Biała again awarded as the best cardiac surgery unit in Poland

The American Heart of Poland (AHP) in Bielsko-Biała in 2104 strengthened its leading position in the quality of cardiac surgery treatment. The most recent data from the National Register of Cardiac Surgery (NRCS) show that AHP, treating patients in more severe condition than in 2013, has maintained the same high quality level of treatment. – As we promised two years ago, as the only medical entity in Poland, we publish outcomes of our treatment on a regular basis. We are proud that every year the quality of treatment we offer is improving – underlines prof. Paweł Buszman, the Chairman of the Board of the American Heart of Poland.

The results of the NRCS show that the risk of in-hospital death in the cardiac surgery unit of AHP in Bielsko-Biała in 2014, with higher number of operated patients, was a little above 1%, similarly as in 2013, in comparison to the Euroscore II index of 3.83 which noted an increase of 0.78% in relation to 2013. It means that AHP, treating more patients in more severe condition than in 2013, has maintained equally high quality of treatment.

- Once again we have proved that high quality results of treatment we provide are the effects of hard and responsible work of the entire medical team who believe that human life matters the most. As the Euroscore II index shows, we have been treating patients suffering from more severe illnesses and co-morbidities. Therefore, we are especially proud of maintaining such high treatment results – says prof. Paweł Buszman, the Co-Founder and the Chairman of the Board of the American Heart of Poland.

The AHP results were also excellent in particular areas of the following procedures:

  • For heart muscle revascularization procedure the mortality risk was 0.48% with the Euroscore II index of 2.53%;
  • For heart valve surgery mortality risk was 1.87% with the Euroscore II index of 3.96%;
  • For combined procedures (valve and coronary surgery) mortality risk was 2.38% with the Euroscore II index of 6.89%.

In the medical facility the index of calculated (initial) surgery risk compared to the observed one is 0.35 (for all procedures in total). It is competitive against top facilities in the USA and Great Britain, where it is set between 0.4 and 1.0.

Last year in the AHP facility in Bielsko-Biała almost 1100 procedures in total were conducted, which proves that this clinic is in the forefront of medical facilities in the country.

Due to the quality of provided services and the fact that we notify public opinion on our results by publishing real and independent data from the National Register of Cardiac Surgery every year more and more people choose our medical facility. Due to the knowledge on treatment results patients can make more conscious decisions where to undergo such a complicated procedure as life-saving surgery. – underlines prof. Andrzej Bochenek, cardiac surgeon and the founder of the AHP facility in Bielsko-Biała. All patients, who are treated in our facility, are transferred to the rehabilitation centre in Ustroń – he adds.

Early rehabilitation after cardiac surgery procedures is one of key factors in treatment of patients and keeping them in good condition for many years to come.

The AHP facility in Bielsko-Biała was set up in 2012. It possesses one of the most advanced hybrid rooms in Poland. It enables functioning of an interdisciplinary consultation, the so-called “heart-team” who, in accordance with the most recent standards of national and European cardiology and cardiac surgery associations, jointly decides on the optimum level of treatment of a person suffering from heart illness.

The National Register of Cardiac Surgery (NRCS) is a platform for collection of data on surgeries performed in every cardiac surgery in Poland (public and private), their analysis and application in order to improve the results and quality of treatment, analysis of treatment costs, definition of material risk factors of early complications and failures after cardiac surgery treatment, as well as preparation of a program of their assessment and neutralization, enabling Poland to participate in the European EACTS database and identifying the most essential scientific research areas.

EuroSCORE II index (European System for Cardiac Operative Risk Evaluation) is the newest model of mortality risk assessment in patients who have undergone a cardiac surgery. It is based on results of an observational study of 20 000 patients from 128 hospitals of 8 European countries.

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Our statements on success in treatment may not be sufficient. Therefore, we wish to give the floor to our Patients, who are the only one to provide valid reference. Here are the opinions of our Patients on the American Heart of Poland.



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New quality of cardiology in Mielec

New quality of cardiology in Mielec

Mielec, 9 April – American Heart of Poland (AHP) in Mielec is ready to accept its first patients to a newly renovated and developed 5th Unit of Interventional Cardiology and Angiology. Due to modernization of the medical facility and two-fold increase in the number of beds, the centre can now meet the needs of the residents of the Mielec poviat and its surroundings.

In the 5th Unit of Interventional Cardiology and Angiology of the American Heart of Poland in Mielec, operating in the premises of the poviat hospital, since 2006 patients suffering from cardio-vascular illnesses have been diagnosed and treated. The unit, with 24-hours service, implements the treatment program of a recent acute myocardial infarction and unstable coronary illness.

The American Heart of Poland is a network of medical facilities set up in small towns in order to be the closest to the patients. The unit in Mielec is an excellent example – says Jacenty Drópiewski, the member of the board, investment director in the American Heart of Poland. Patients with a life-threatening condition of infraction do not have to be transported in an ambulance to hospitals in large cities, often several dozens of kilometres away from their houses. They also have an easier access to free scheduled or outpatient care – he adds.

The unit has undergone a major renovation, basically from scratch. It has been located on a new floor which was built as an upward extension over the Emergency Unit of the hospital.

Opening of the newly and extended unit was possible due to excellent cooperation with local authorities of the Mielec poviat and the hospital – underlines Jacenty Drópiewski, from the American Heart of Poland. – The hospital’s authorities came up with an innovative idea to create an upward extension and its implementation in shell state. This solution ensured additional space, necessary for development of the cardiology unit.

As a result of modernisation the number of beds has increased almost two-fold – from eleven to twenty. Patients can now stay in comfortable 3-person rooms, each equipped with a bathroom, two of them accessible for the disabled. The clinic, upon its development, now possesses a cardiologic admission room and new surgery, nurse and doctors rooms.

Only in 2014 almost 1400 patients with heart illnesses, many of whom in life-threatening condition, were directed to our unit. Thanks to completed modernization we will be able to provide services in the area of cardiology for patients from the Mielec poviat and surrounding poviats, which are enormous – doctor Adam Młodziankowski, the head of the unit from AHP in Mielec comments.

5th Unit of Interventional Cardiology and Angiology of the American Heart of Poland in Mielec, from the beginning of its operation, is additionally equipped with an angiograph used both in the diagnostic process (assessment of condition of coronary, brain and kidney vessels, as well as arteries of lower limbs), and treatment (angioplasty of coronary and peripheral arteries). The AHP is planning to replace this seven-year-old machine with a new one in several months. The clinic also uses modern devices for imaging coronary arteries with intravascular ultrasound. Since January 2014, apart from hospitalization in Mielec, the AHP offers specialist outpatient care. Since the beginning of the facility it has admitted 2015 patients.

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The American Heart of Poland is a network of interventional cardiology, cardiac surgery and vascular surgery set up as an initiative of renowned doctors from Poland and the USA. The American Heart of Poland is a group of over 30 medical facilities and Przedsiębiorstwo Uzdrowiskowe “Ustroń” SA. This makes the AHP Group in Poland the only network treating heart and vascular illnesses in such a complex manner – starting from prevention and prophylaxis, through therapy in the area of intervention cardiology, cardiac surgery and vascular surgery and rehabilitation allowing fast recovery and return to good condition and social life. Only in 2014 in the AHP facilities about 56 000 patients were treated.

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All AHP vascular surgery units with the “A Hospital without Pain” certificate

All AHP vascular surgery units with the “A Hospital without Pain” certificate

The Reszów Centre of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery and the Nysa Heart and Vascular Centre of the American Heart of Poland (AHP) have joined the group of medical facilities awarded the “Hospital without Pain” certificate. They are the proof that AHP facilities are actively contributing to raising the quality of ameliorating after-surgery pain in Poland.

Rzeszów and Nysa are the next AHP facilities which have been honoured with the “Hospital without Pain” certificate. The Certification Committee has already awarded the certificate to medical units of vascular surgery in Ustroń, Bielsko-Biała, Dąbrowa Górnicza, Starachowice and Chrzanów.

Therefore, currently all vascular surgery units of the American Heart of Poland Clinics were granted the “Hospital without Pain” certificate. It means that the medical personnel of AHP has completed required training in ameliorating post-operational pain and all the units observe procedures connected with assessment of increase in postoperative pain, monitoring and reporting side effects of the applied treatment, as well as informing patients on the possibilities and methods of postoperative pain relief prior to surgery, keeping documentation on pain measurement and applied analgesic management in accordance with instructions and recommendation of pain relief.

The aim of the “Hospital without Pain” program is to award medical facilities which meet stipulated criteria and contribute to raising quality of postoperative pain relief in Polish hospitals with the “Hospital without Pain” certificate. The program was initiated by the Polish Association for the Study of Pain and the Polish Society of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Therapy, the Association of Polish Surgeons, the Polish Gynaecological Society, and Polish Society of Orthopaedics and Traumatology.

The “Hospital without Pain” certificates are valid for the period of 3 years.

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American Heart of Poland certified as a Center of Excellence in Cardiology & Cardiosurgery by the International Healthcare Commission

American Heart of Poland certified as a Center of Excellence in Cardiology & Cardiosurgery by the International Healthcare Commission

The International Healthcare Commission (IHC) has awarded the Center of Excellence in Cardiology & Cardiosurgery Certificate to the American Heart of Poland Group (AHP) of the achieved treatment results and the number of patients who choose the aid of AHP Clinics. AHP is Europe's first healthcare facility to receive this special certification for in cardiology and cardiosurgery and the second Polish facility awarded with an IHC quality certificate.

Founded in 2009 in Atlanta, Georgia (USA), the International Healthcare Commission is an independent organisation for quality evaluation and certification of hospital and clinical facilities around the globe. The five-star certificate awarded by IHC for cardiological and cardiosurgical care proves the highest quality of services provided by the Departments of the American Heart of Poland Group.

"We are very pleased that not only has our daily work for Polish patients been recognised domestically, but also abroad, by third-party experts of the International Healthcare Commission. This is yet another reason for us to keep the treatment quality level we have been maintaining," says Professor Paweł Buszman, Chairman of the Board at the American Heart of Poland.

The AHP Clinics have always been prioritizing the quality of treatment offered to their patients.  The treatment results achieved by the Clinics are on par with the best U.S. and British medical facilities. Moreover, the AHP Clinics have been the only Polish medical facilities so far to provide the general public with the treatment quality data. That is why there are more patients every year who choose treatment at the AHP Clinics, access data on treatment results and thus make their informed decision to have very difficult procedures, which often save lives, made at AHP.

"Our business proves that those medical facilities which focus on the patient, not otherwise, assure the medical staff with optimum conditions to stimulate work and professional development, and where each their employee, no matter their function, takes responsibility for their job, can -- and do -- achieve superior treatment efficacy. Here the beneficiaries are not only the patients, who receive professional end-to-end care, but also the Polish National Healthcare Fund, which can rest assured that the services it pays for with public money are of the highest quality," explains Professor Paweł Buszman.

The American Heart of Poland Group has been operating in the research sector for many years, mainly with the focus on testing of new medical devices and drugs, as well as novel cardiovascular treatment methods at its Center for Cardiovascular Research (CCR). The projects carried out at the AHP CCR have allowed marketing many innovative solutions in Poland which improve patient safety and comfort, as well as more cost-efficient spending under the state healthcare budget.

"The number of advanced minimally invasive cardiovascular treatment methods have been growing around the world, and not just in cardiology or cardiosurgery, but also in vascular surgery, which has a high priority at our Clinics. The number of lower limb amputations related to cardiovascular diseases is bordering on mass scale in Poland, which has been a huge problem. Our mission is both to save those threatened by amputation and make sure that they return to normal life as soon as possible," says Professor Radosław Stefan Kiesz, Co-founder and deputy Chairman of the Supervisory Board at American Heart of Poland, Chairman of the San Antonio Endovascular & Heart Institute, and Medical Director at the Stone Oak Center for Angiography & Interventions, San Antonio, Texas (USA).


Warsaw, September 2014

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Pioneering procedure in Tychy

Pioneering procedure in Tychy

Physicians from the Research and Development Center of American Heart of Poland conducted the first procedure in Europe within the scope of renal denervation with the use of modern Peregrine system. It ensures renal denervation through chemical neurolysis. As emphasizes Krzysztof Milewski, MD, PhD, from the Research and Development Center of American Heart of Poland, this procedure is undoubtedly less severe for the patients than previous methods of renal denervation. It is shorter and it does not require administration of strong analgesics.

The innovative procedure of renal denervation was performed at the American Heart of Poland in Tychy. The patient was 56-year-old female, resident of Silesia, who has been fighting with hypertension for more than 10 years. The woman belongs to the group of people who are resistant to standard treatment of hypertension with pharmacological methods, and lifestyle change, including diet. This is the reason for her qualification for the renal denervation procedure conducted with the use of the system of new generation. “The procedure was successful. In a few months, we will see whether the method we used is effective”, said Krzysztof Milewski, MD, PhD. The patient has been already discharged from the hospital.

Renal denervation procedures involve destruction of nerves surrounding arteries supplying blood to the kidneys. These nerves play a key role in regulation of the blood pressure. The persons whose blood pressure cannot be lowered with the use of drugs and correct diet are qualified for the procedure of renal denervation, because it is expected to decrease their blood pressure.

Among previously available methods of denervation, the most commonly used procedures involved application of current with specially selected frequency. Unfortunately, these methods reveal many limitations and they are very painful, so the scientists have been searching for better solutions. One of them is Peregrine system, which provides renal denervation through chemical neurolysis, i.e. local administration of the agent damaging nerves into the artery wall through a special catheter equipped with a micro-needle conducting electric impulses,. This is exactly the system tested by physicians from the American Heart of Poland.

“The American Heart of Poland is globally recognized in treatment of cardiovascular system diseases and in introducing modern technologies at the highest global level”, emphasizes Professor Paweł Buszman, the President of the Management Board of AHP Group.

“Arterial hypertension is a very dangerous disease. Constant pressure jumps may lead to occurrence of the stroke, myocardial infarction and renal damage”, reminds Krzysztof Milewski, MD, PhD. ”Each patient suffering from this disease is forced to take many antihypertensive drugs demonstrating many side effects”, he adds.

Peregrine catheter provided by an American company Ablative Solutions has not been approved for use in Europe yet. This is the first study of this type conducted in the clinical practice. “Advantage of this method is the fact that the procedure is completely painless for the patients and it lasts only a few minutes”, informs Krzysztof Milewski, MD, PhD, Director of the Research and Development Center of American Heart of Poland. Peregrine System is to be tested in 2 centers in Poland. It is assumed that in the first stage, 20 patients will be enrolled.

Efficacy of Peregrine system has already been verified by the physicians – operators from the Research and Development Center of American Heart of Poland in Kostkowice – with the use of an animal model. As emphasized Piotr Buszman, MD, PhD, Head of the preclinical studies at the Research and Development Center of American Heart of Poland, “The procedures were successful. We have not had any problems with their correct performance, and they have also caused no adverse events”.

Arterial hypertension constitutes a significant health and economic problem. Patients with hypertension have significantly increased risk of occurrence of such major adverse cardiac event as: myocardial infarctions, strokes and renal failure. It is estimated that nearly 30 percent of persons in Poland demonstrate problems with hypertension. Among a group of patients with diagnosed hypertension, nearly 15 percent are patients with the so-called resistant hypertension, which means inability to lower blood pressure to the desired level despite using standard pharmacological therapy, diet and change in lifestyle.

The Research and Development Center of American Heart of Poland is the only private center in Poland which conducts preclinical and clinical studies within the scope of cardiovascular disease. The facility has modern treatment rooms and operating rooms, including one of the most modern hybrid rooms where cardiological and cardiac surgical procedures are performed.

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3D to the rescue of the heart

3D to the rescue of the heart

Innovative procedure of the heart valve repair took place at the Research and Development Center of American Heart of Poland in Bielsko-Biała, where the team of specialists used a model of the patient’s heart prepared with 3D technology. Three-dimensional, actual model of the organ is a revolution significantly improving preparation for the surgical procedure of heart structural defects which guarantees increased safety for the patient.

Heart valve diseases, especially congenital heart defects, may lead to significant changes in its anatomy. In order to prepare well for the procedures - not only surgical procedures, but also for the percutaneous ones - physicians must take into consideration all the details regarding pathologically changed heart. Visualization of three-dimensional interrelations of changed structures is crucial for the team of physicians and provides them with high precision of movements that extremely increases chances of the procedure’s success.

“Imaging techniques have been functioning in cardiology for some time. However, despite their development, they are still imperfect – so far, they have been providing images which are only virtual reconstructions. It is different in case of 3D technology. It supports creating actual, physical models of organs, which neutralize imperfections of imaging techniques”, said Professor Paweł Buszman, President of the Management Board of American Heart of Poland and the specialist, under the supervision of whom the procedure in Bielsko-Biała was performed. “It is as if we were able not only to see the heart of a given patient in details including all its defects, literally from all sides, before the procedure, but we also can touch it. For me, as a physician, comfort of such preparation for the procedure using 3D printing, especially in case of such severe defects as the valve incompetence, is exceptional”.

In order to create an individual three-dimensional model of the patient’s heart, images of the organ obtained with the use of multislice computed tomography, performed about one week before the procedure, were used. Based on analysis of the blood volume, virtual three-dimensional model was prepared including the internal surface of the left ventricle, the left atrium and an initial segment of the aorta. In addition, the files were modified in such manner that suitable thickness of the wall was added. All of these data processed and prepared using special software were sent to Belgium and printed in 3D technology. Within two days, three-dimensional model of heart came to the center of American Heart of Poland in Bielsko-Biała.

The heart copied in 3D technique was used during preparation for an innovative procedure of percutaneous mitral valve annuloplasty. This procedure should be used in patients with severe heart failure, usually after myocardial infarctions, with large cicatrix, who cannot undergo classic cardiac surgical procedure because the level of risk is too high. It includes insertion of the catheter through the femoral artery, which supports installing special polyester implants. In order to simplify one can say that they play the role of staples. Then, they are tightened which decreases the circumference of the mitral valve annulus in the heart, i.e. reduces the valve incompetence. Each stage of the procedure was additionally controlled by 3D transesophageal echocardiography.

“Individual heart model prepared in 3D technology allows for perfect matching to a particular patient. The procedure required insertion of the guiding catheter to the left ventricle through the aorta and placement of its tip in between the papillary muscles within the area of the valve annulus. Based on the heart model, we were able to determine and select the size of the guiding catheter in such manner so as to ensure free maneuvering inside the ventricle. We had also a chance to determine optimum location of the guidewires going through the valve annulus and check the possibility to place the catheter in suitable target locations”, commented Professor Paweł Buszman. “The effect is a maximum precision, which consequently translates into the maximum level of safety for the patient”.

The procedure performed at the Research and Development Center of American Heart of Poland in Bielsko-Biała was a part of the clinical studies. The first conclusions drawn by the physicians directly after the procedure state that individual model of the patient’s heart created with the use of three-dimensional printing techniques is an extremely helpful tool used at the stage of preparation for the percutaneous procedures in cardiology.

The Research and Development Center of American Heart of Poland is the only private center in Poland which conducts preclinical and clinical studies within the scope of cardiovascular diseases. The facility has modern treatment rooms and operating rooms, including one of the most modern hybrid rooms, where cardiological and cardiac surgical procedures are performed. The purpose of operations managed by the Research and Development Center of American Heart of Poland within the scope of preclinical and clinical studies is to introduce the most modern technologies and treatment methods into clinical practice regarding cardiovascular diseases on daily basis.

The Research and Development Center of American Heart of Poland is proud of many successes. The list of completed projects includes more than 18 items. As a result of the studies conducted by the R&D Center, the following has been introduced to clinical practice: the first Polish coronary stent made of stainless steel, the coronary stent made of cobalt-chrome alloy “KOS” and one of the first drug-eluting stent around the world releasing antiproliferative drug from the surface of biodegradable polymer.

The National Science Centre provided the R&D Center, within “Sonata” grant, with financial resources for conducting preclinical animal tests – grant title: “Wpływ śródściennego wstrzyknięcia cholesterolu w warunkach hiperglikemii i diety wysokocholesterolowej na odpowiedź naczyniową celem rozwoju modelu aterosklerozy u świni domowej” [“Effect of intramural injection of cholesterol under conditions of hyperglycemia and high cholesterol diet on vascular response in order to develop model of atherosclerosis in the domestic pig”]. The R&D Center will also receive funds for the studies conducted within the consortium under the supervision of the Silesian Center for Heart Diseases in Zabrze. The title of the project which received financial support from the National Center of Research and Development is as follows: “Wykorzystanie teletransmisji danych medycznych w celu poprawy jakości życia chorych z niewydolnością serca i redukcji kosztów ich leczenia” [“Using medical data teletransmission in order to improve quality of life in patients with heart failure and reduction of their treatment costs”].

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Innovative program of renal denervation

Innovative program of renal denervation

Physicians from the Research and Development Center of American Heart of Poland study new treatment methods for arterial hypertension. Execution of the new clinical program, which is innovative in Europe, was initiated at the facility. “We hope that the method we are studying will improve efficacy of hypertension treatment in patients who are resistant to traditional pharmacological treatment of arterial hypertension”, emphasized Professor Paweł Buszman, the President of the American Heart of Poland. Currently, the works have started at the Research and Development Center of American Heart of Poland regarding implementation of the new method of renal denervation.

Renal denervation procedures involve destruction of nerves surrounding arteries supplying blood to the kidneys. These nerves play a key role in regulation of the blood pressure. The persons whose blood pressure cannot be lowered with the use of drugs and correct diet are qualified for the procedure of renal denervation, because it is expected to decrease their blood pressure.

Among previously available methods of denervation, the most commonly used procedures involved application of current with specially selected frequency. Unfortunately, these methods reveal many limitations and they are very painful, so the scientists have been searching for better solutions. One of them is Peregrine system which provides renal denervation through chemical neurolysis, i.e. local administration of the agent damaging nerves into the artery wall, through a special catheter equipped with a micro-needle conducting electric impulses. This is exactly the system tested by physicians from the American Heart of Poland.

Peregrine catheter provided by an American company Ablative Solutions has not been approved for use in Europe yet. This is the first study of this type conducted in the clinical practice. “The advantage of this method is the fact that the procedure is completely painless for the patients and it lasts only a few minutes”, informs Krzysztof Milewski, MD, PhD, Director of the Research and Development Center of American Heart of Poland. Peregrine System is to be tested in 2 centers in Poland. It is assumed that in the first stage 20 patients will be enrolled.

“The American Heart of Poland is globally recognized in treatment of cardiovascular system diseases and in introducing modern technologies at the highest global level”, emphasizes Professor Radosław Stefan Kiesz, President of San Antonio Endovascular and Heart Institute, Medical Director of StoneOak Center for Angiography & Interventions San Antonio in Texas, co-founder of the American Heart of Poland. “For these reasons, I had no problem to convince the author of this method, Professor Tim Fischell, to perform the first procedures in Europe here, at the American Heart of Poland”, he added.

Efficacy of Peregrine system has already been verified by the physicians – operators from the Research and Development Center of American Heart of Poland in Kostkowice – with the use of an animal model. As emphasized Piotr Buszman, MD, PhD, Head of the preclinical studies at the Research and Development Center of American Heart of Poland, “The procedures were successful. We have not had any problems with their correct performance, and they have also caused no adverse events”.

Arterial hypertension constitutes a significant health and economic problem. Patients with hypertension have significantly increased risk of occurrence of such major adverse cardiac event as: myocardial infarctions, strokes and renal failure. It is estimated that nearly 30 percent of persons in Poland demonstrate problems with hypertension. With age, the number of persons suffering from this disease increases up to nearly 60 percent in patients over the age of 65. Among a group of patients with diagnosed hypertension, nearly 15 percent are patients with a so-called resistant hypertension, which means inability to lower blood pressure to the desired level despite using standard pharmacological therapy, diet and change in lifestyle. These are the patients qualified for the procedure of renal denervation.

The Research and Development Center of American Heart of Poland is the only private center in Poland which conducts preclinical and clinical studies within the scope of cardiovascular diseases. The facility has modern treatment rooms and operating rooms, including one of the most modern hybrid rooms, where cardiological and cardiac surgical procedures are performed. The purpose of operations managed by the Research and Development Center of American Heart of Poland within the scope of preclinical and clinical studies is to introduce the most modern technologies and treatment methods into clinical practice regarding cardiovascular diseases on daily basis.

The Research and Development Center of American Heart of Poland is proud of many successes. The list of completed projects includes more than 18 items. As a result of the studies conducted by the R&D Center, the following has been introduced to clinical practice: the first Polish coronary stent made of stainless steel, the coronary stent made of cobalt-chrome alloy “KOS” and one of the first drug-eluting stent around the world releasing antiproliferative drug from the surface of biodegradable polymer.

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Opening of the Research and Development Centre of American Heart of Poland

Opening of the Research and Development Centre of American Heart of Poland

13 June 2012 – American Heart of Poland (AHP) has officially opened its Research and Development Centre (CBR), the only such centre for pre-clinical and clinical research in Poland. At this centre the latest medical discoveries get a chance for safe move from a laboratory to an operating theatre where they can save lives of patients with cardio-vascular diseases.

The research team led by Professor Paweł Buszman, Associate Professor Wojciech Wojakowski and Dr Krzysztof Milewski, tests at the CBR new medical devices, drugs and methods of treating cardio-vascular diseases. The work includes, for example, local administration of drugs in the treatment of arteriosclerosis and restenosis prevention, latest methods of preventing post reperfusion damage in heart attacks and methods of heart muscle and vessels regeneration after a heart attack. Methods of repair and laparoscopic implantation of heart valves, new intra-vascular stents and innovative methods of treating hypertension are also developed and tested.

CBR AHP has its own tissue bank and cell-breeding laboratory, allowing it to conduct research into heart and vessels regeneration.

Our Centre is the only such specialised facility in Poland. Over a period of several years we have achieved many successes. We launched the first Polish metal stents (made of 316L stainless steel and cobalt-chrome) and drugs-releasing stents with biodegradable coating, as safe and effective as those made abroad, but many times cheaper, allowing their broad application – said Professor Paweł Buszman, the initiator and co-founder of CBR AHP.

The Experimental Laboratory of AHP was established in May 2004, in co-operation with young physicians and students and institutions propagating and developing new technologies applied in medicine. The main purpose of establishing the CBR was to set up the first Polish centre engaged in translation medicine research. The transformation of the Laboratory into the Research and Development Centre was possible thanks to PLN 18 million in the EU funding acquired by the Polish American Heart under the Innovative Economy Operational Programme 4.5 Support for investments of significant importance for the economy.

Thanks to the EU funds obtained for extending the CBR we were able to intensify out activities and extend the scope of our research – added Professor Buszman.

Although numerous studies on cells and tissues have been developed in recent years, translation studies still remain irreplaceable.

Our scientists are currently engaged in studies involving further innovative techniques of treating cardio-vascular diseases. New generation stents, “closers” of atrial septums, electrodes for temporary heart stimulation or drug-coated balloons used to treat restenosis of coronary and peripheral arteries, these are just some of the new technologies which, thanks to the tests conducted at CBR, have a chance of being used in medical practice in a near future – informed Dr Krzysztof Milewski, Head of the Experimental Laboratory at CBR.

CBR AHP is not just the latest technologies, but also advanced training programmes and internships for physicians in the area of diagnosis and treatment of cardio-vascular diseases.

Thanks to the co-operation with the leading centres in Europe and the USA, physicians can develop in a professional, international environment. This means that they do not have to seek development opportunities outside of Poland – explained Professor Paweł Buszman.

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Revolutionary procedure at American Heart of Poland Clinic in Ustroń

Revolutionary procedure at American Heart of Poland Clinic in Ustroń

12 September 2012 – on 5 September, doctors from American Heart of Poland (AHP) carried out a procedure consisting in implanting bio-absorbable stents, which are completely dissolved in the patient’s body. It was the first such commercially performed procedure in Poland and one of the few ever conducted in the world. The first patients received this revolutionary vascular diseases treatment at the centre in Ustroń.

A team of specialists from American Heart of Poland in Ustroń, led by Dr Marek Król, performed a coronary angioplasty in a 55-year old man diagnosed with unstable angina pectoris. The morbidly changed coronary vessels have been widened by implanting two bio-absorbable stents manufactured by Abbott Vascular.

In the initial period bio-absorbable stents act as mechanical scaffoldings of the widened vessel and a reservoir of the drug preventing restenosis, i.e. a process causing its contraction – explained Dr Marek Król, head of the 1st Cardiology and Angiology Department at American Heart of Poland in Ustroń. Once the widened part of the vessel is stabilized, the stents are completely dissolved. After two years there is no trace of them left in the body.

American Heart of Poland has for many years been conducting research involving, among others, testing new medical devices and drugs and treatments of cardio-vascular diseases at the Research and Development Centre (CBR). The work includes, for example, local administration of drugs in the treatment of arteriosclerosis and restenosis prevention, latest methods of preventing post reperfusion damage in heart attacks and methods of heart muscle and vessels regeneration after a heart attack. Methods of repair and laparoscopic implantation of heart valves, new intra-vascular stents and innovative methods of treating hypertension are also developed and tested.

For the last 12 years the American Heart of Poland in Ustroń has been a unique model of comprehensive cardiological care on the European scale. Patient care begins at the outpatient clinic and continues through diagnosing and treatment using intervention or cardio-surgical procedures, ending with rehabilitation.

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Cardiac surgery at PAKS in Bielsko-Biała is one of the best in Poland

Cardiac surgery at PAKS in Bielsko-Biała is one of the best in Poland

The American Heart of Poland (PAKS) in Bielsko-Biała is the leading facility in Poland in terms of achieved quality of cardiac surgical treatment. Results achieved by this clinic compete with results of the best centers in the US and in the UK. “PAKS is the only network in Poland which decided to provide the public with data regarding achieved results of treatment”, emphasizes Professor Paweł Buszman, the President of the Management Board of the American Heart of Poland.

The risk of intra-hospital death at the Department of Cardiac Surgery in PAKS in Bielsko-Biała in 2013 was insignificantly higher than 1% (in reference to Euroscore II at the level of 3.05). Results of PAKS were also excellent in the respective groups of procedures, e.g. in case of myocardial revascularization, risk of death was 0.71 (in reference to Euroscore II at the level of 2.17%), in case of valvular procedures it was 1.95% (in reference to Euroscore II at the level of 3.96) and in case of combined procedures (valvular and coronary procedures) it was 1.67% (in reference to Euroscore II at the level of 5.29). In this center, ratio of calculated (preliminary) risk of the procedure to the observed one is ca. 0.36 (for all procedures in total) and this result competes with results achieved in the best centers in the US and in the UK, where it ranges between 0.4 and 1.0 (e.g. in the braches supervised by Cleveland Clinic Foundation).

“Such results are achieved only by the best cardiac surgery centers around the world. It is worth emphasizing that we compare data of patients with similar profiles, similar health condition, and similarly burdened with coexisting diseases, so we cannot say that we compare incomparable as apples to pears”,  informs Professor Paweł Buszman.We prove that medical facilities, where the patient is at the center of attention, medical personnel has good working conditions and professional development, and each and every employee, regardless of performed function, is responsible for performed work, may achieve superior results in treatment. Not only the patient who receives professional and comprehensive care is a beneficiary of such situation, but also the National Health Fund, which is ensured that services paid for with public resources are of the highest quality”, adds the president of PAKS.

It is worth emphasizing that last year, almost 1100 procedures in total were performed in PAKS facility in Bielsko-Biała, which is nearly 300 more than it was in 2012. Each of specialists employed in the clinic performed over 211 surgical procedures last year, which makes the Clinic of Cardiac Surgery of PAKS one of the national leaders in this area. Thanks to cardiac surgery in Bielsko-Biała, the patients coming from the Podbeskidzie region and surrounding areas are not forced to travel to the centers located far away, because they may use highly specialized cardiac surgical services provided in local area. Demand for cardiac surgical benefits is still growing, however, contract of PAKS facility in Bielsko-Biała refers to only 10 percent of capabilities of this center.

“Each year, PAKS facility in Bielsko-Biała provides services to more and more patients. Having access to knowledge regarding our treatment results, the patients make intentional decisions to undergo such difficult procedures as saving life surgeries in our facility”, emphasizes Professor Andrzej Bochenek, cardiac surgeon and founder of PAKS facility in Bielsko-Biała.

“By appreciating professionalism of our medical personnel, excellent organization and equipment of the center, the patients become permanently connected with our clinic. This way, they obtain access to all other services of PAKS, such as rehabilitation and follow-up diagnostics, which allow avoiding next hospitalizations and keep the patient in good health over many years”,  adds Professor Andrzej Bochenek.

“PAKS facility in Bielsko-Biała, as the clinical part of the Research and Development Center of the American Heart of Poland fulfills an additional function – it allows testing and launching into the Polish market new medical solutions which are not only better for the patients, but also more effective for the whole healthcare system in Poland”, emphasizes Professor Paweł Buszman. “Due to many years of studies at the Research and Development Center of the American Heart of Poland, many Polish devices have already been used in the clinical practice. Their occurrence led to even four-fold decrease in prices of foreign competitors”, he states.

Due to the development and popularization of the diagnostics and the invasive treatment of the coronary diseases in Poland, which was possible because of combined efforts of medical community, the Ministry of Health and the National Health Fund as well as private service providers, intra-hospital mortality due to the myocardial infarction in Poland was reduced about ten-fold within the last decade. Cardiology in Poland is characterized by good organization and availability, as well as high quality of the procedures applied. In the European Union Poland is perceived as the country which is successful in the development of model solutions within the area of Acute Coronary Syndromes /ACS/ treatment. Achieving such quality and high availability of cardiological services accompanied by low expenditures is an exceptional case not only in our country, but also within the whole Europe. Model of the invasive cardiology may constitute an example of balanced and permanent business for other areas of medicine and healthcare management in Poland.

Unfortunately, incidence of the circulatory system diseases is still 1.5-2 fold higher in Poland than it is in the Western Europe, and deaths of cardiovascular causes still constitute nearly 50% of all cases of death in Poland. It is this way, because funds intended for prevention and comprehensive treatment of these diseases, including rehabilitation and management of patients after cardiovascular incidents, are not sufficient in our country. “For this reason, attention to quality and transparency of results of the treatment should be followed by complexity of services, considering easy access of the patients to primary and secondary rehabilitation and diagnostics”, believes Professor Paweł Buszman, President of PAKS.

EuroSCORE II (European System for Cardiac Operative Risk Evaluation) is the newest model for evaluation of operative mortality risk in patients undergoing cardiac surgical procedures. It is based on results of observational study which included 20 thousand patients from 128 hospitals in 8 European countries.

Only last year, about 40 thousand patients were treated in the centers of PAKS. Highly qualified medical personnel of the clinics provides comprehensive services within the scope of diagnostics and treatment of the cardiovascular system diseases at the highest level around the world. The patients treated in PAKS facilities may count on full rehabilitation and health education provided on the basis of the Health Resort Ustroń [Uzdrowisko Ustroń].

The American Heart of Poland pioneered i.a. in the following:

  • comprehensive treatment of patients with disseminated atheromatosis of the coronary and peripheral arteries (including atheromatosis of carotid arteries);
  • performing complex coronary procedures in patients, who are disqualified from cardiac surgical treatment;
  • use of devices for atherectomy of peripheral arteries in order to prevent consequences of ischemia of lower limbs.

The American Heart of Poland has the Research and Development Center, which comprises modern Department of Minimally Invasive and Endoscopic Cardiac Surgery in Bielsko-Biała and the Experimental Laboratory in Kostkowice. Due to financial support from the European Union within the Operational Programme Innovative Economy in the amount of PLN 18 million (as part of support for investments of high importance to the economy), the Center has been performing studies on treatment of heart valve diseases, heart failure and within the scope of blood clotting disorders and treatment.

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Innovative procedures saving legs from amputation at the Cardiology Center in Józefów

Innovative procedures saving legs from amputation at the Cardiology Center in Józefów

In Poland, every hour on average somebody loses a leg as a result of amputation. It is mainly a consequence of atherosclerosis and diabetes mellitus. Effective fight for the limb, even in the case of ischemia within the peripheral vessels, is possible thanks to innovative procedures such as the ones performed today at the Cardiology Center in Józefów (CKJ), the facility belonging to the American Heart of Poland Group. By using minimally invasive techniques and the vascular locks, three patients were ready to leave the department only a few hours after the procedure.

Three patients underwent the procedure – two males in the age of 75 and 60 years and 68-year-old female. All of them suffered from the extreme ischemia of various segments of arteries of the lower limbs.

In order to perform the procedures, experts from the Cardiology Center in Józefów used intravascular atherectomy devices. This technique includes excision of the atherosclerotic plaque from inside of the vessel using rotary blade. The atherosclerotic plaque is an accumulation of cholesterol and the inflammatory cells, which causes gradual closure of the arteries supplying blood to the limb. In order to protect the patient against amputation, patency of abnormal vessel has to be permanently restored. Thanks to intravascular atherectomy, physicians were able to remove the atherosclerotic plaque from inside of the abnormal blood vessel leaving the canal where blood may flow freely to the distal part of the limb.

The alternative methods of ischemia treatment include an extensive and not always feasible surgical procedure, associated with the necessity of tissue preparation or so-called balloon angioplasty - it does not remove the atherosclerotic plaque, but only compresses it into the vascular wall. Main advantage of the atherectomy procedure is the fact that it is minimally invasive – the whole procedure is conducted through a small puncture of the artery within the area of the groin. Due to the use of the vascular lock, which safely closes the puncture site, the patients were able to be discharged from the hospital and come back to their family after a few hours following the procedure.

Procedures at the Cardiology Center in Józefów have been performed under the supervision of Professor Radosław Stefan Kiesz of Polish origin, the Professor of Medicine and Cardiology of the University in Texas, associated with the American centers which are recognized as the best around the world in terms of experience and achieved results in vascular treatment of lower limbs.

“Thanks to the modern minimally invasive methods of patency restoration for the arteries, the patients suffering from ischemia of the limbs avoid the threat of the limb amputation. Around the world, it is avoided at any cost by using innovative methods, such as atherectomy”, says Professor Radosław Stefan Kiesz, the President of San Antonio Endovascular & Heart Institute and the Medical Director of Stone Oak Center for Angiography & Interventions, San Antonio in Texas, co-founder of the American Heart of Poland. “Furthermore, we do not only want to save the people’s limbs, but also to provide them with opportunity to return to normal functioning as soon as possible. With such well-developed medicine, it is possible as early as after a few hours following the procedure! Our patients instead of staying at the hospital may undergo safe rehabilitation at their homes, surrounded by their families”, he adds.

According to various sources, 85-97% of limb amputations is caused by atherosclerosis, which in majority of cases we associate with the heart disease. Unfortunately, it is very common that atherosclerosis develops in a deceitful and unnoticeable manner, which leads to ischemia of the lower limbs. Hence, it is crucial for these patients to obtain assistance leading to recovery, not to amputation, as soon as possible.

Popularization of innovative minimally invasive techniques should be one of the priorities in our country. In Poland, every hour on average somebody loses his/her leg as a result of amputation. What is important, it refers not only to the elderly persons, but also to economically active persons.

According to experts, in 2008 – 2011 between 6 and 10 thousand amputations per year were performed in Poland; in 2012, there were as many as 12 thousand amputations. Poland is the only country in the European Union with the increasing number of the limb amputations. In our country, nearly 8 limb amputations per 100 thousand citizens are performed, while – for comparison – only two amputations are performed in Denmark and only one in Spain and in the Netherlands.

“The limb amputation is a tragedy not only for the patients and their families, but it is also a huge burden for the healthcare system. Such procedure entails significantly higher costs than saving the leg”, says Robert Michał Proczka, MD, PhD, Head of the Department of Vascular Surgery at the Cardiology Center in Józefów. “After such procedure, the patient requires rehabilitation, prostheses or a wheelchair, as well as care provided by the third parties. In addition, the person after amputation is not able to work, so such patients do not build GDP but have to be supported by monthly disability pension. They also feel excluded from social life which constitutes a significant mental stress not only for these patients but also for their families.” he adds.


For many years, the American Heart of Poland, a parent company for the Cardiology Center in Józefów, has been creating facilities which thanks to the department of cardiology and the department of vascular surgery in one location may provide the patient with complex services in terms of cardiovascular diseases.

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Innovative procedure in PAKS in Bielsko-Biała

Innovative procedure in PAKS in Bielsko-Biała

Doctors from the American Heart of Poland (PAKS) under the leadership of Professor Paweł Buszman have performed an innovative percutaneous aortic valve implantation. The procedure conducted with cooperation with Boston Scientific at PAKS facility in Bielsko-Biała is a chance for seriously ill patients, for whom the classic surgical procedures are too risky. It was one of the first commercial procedures of this type performed not only in Poland, but also in the entire region of Central-Eastern Europe.

An innovative procedure was conducted by a team of experts from the American Heart of Poland clinical institution in Bielsko-Biała under the leadership of Professor Paweł Buszman.

Percutaneous aortic valve factory mounted on implantation system named Lotus™ Valve System is a solution that guarantees better results in many cases in comparison to other prostheses as it is characterized by better implantation parameters. As explains Professor Paweł Buszman, the co-founder and the President of the management board of The American Heart of Poland, “the valve can be repositioned in time to minimize the risk of paravalvular leak”. It is also important that the gradient of this valve incompetence goes down to zero.

The implantation of innovative percutaneous aortic valve at PAKS in Bielsko-Biała has been performed in two patients suffering from syndrome of serious coexisting diseases, making a standard surgery impossible to perform. One of them is a 70-year-old male, suffering from advanced atherosclerosis and with mitral valve replacement. In addition, the patient was diagnosed with serious aortic stenosis along with congenital anomaly in the form of bicuspid valve.

For many years, the American Heart of Poland has been occupying with research activity which includes testing of new medical devices and medicines, as well as methods of treating cardiovascular diseases at Centrum Badawczo-Rozwojowe (CBR) [Research and Development Center]. The projects executed by PAKS enabled introduction of the following to clinical practice: first Polish coronary stent made of stainless steel named 316L “Chopin”, coronary stent made of cobalt-chromium alloy named “KOS”, the first paclitaxel-eluting stent which releases antiproliferative drug – paclitaxel from the surface of biodegradable polymer, “Shellak” coating used on the stent and balloon surface, coronary stent with thin struts made of cobalt-chromium alloy named “Coflexus”, as well as sirolimus-eluting coronary stent “Alex”.

The solutions implemented by PAKS experts have significantly influenced the invasive cardiology development in Poland. Not only have they increased the level of safety and patient comfort, but they have also made a significant contribution in improvement of accessibility of the newest technologies to Polish patients. According to Professor Paweł Buszman, this is the reason why we would like to continue our scientific research activities and innovative treatment.

Among the newest projects carried out by R&D Center, the following can be enlisted: program of hybrid myocardial revascularization conducted in patients with advanced multivascular coronary disease, percutaneous mitral annuloplasty procedure used for relieving symptoms of heart failure, aortic valve replacement procedure in aortic valve stenosis for modern self-expanding aortic bioprosthesis 3f Enable by Medtronic (made of equine pericardium), or the procedure of the first Polish drug-coated balloon catheter (PAX®, Balton) used in treatment of vascular diseases. The latest achievement of the R&D Center scientists was the implantation of the first Polish hybrid carotid stent “MER” with the use of distal cerebral protection device „ROBIN” in the patient with advanced heart and vessels disease. “MER” stent obtained a European marking (CE mark) and official market authorization in our country.

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About the American Heart of Poland (PAKS)

Only last year, about 30 thousand patients were treated in the centers of PAKS, including over five thousand patients with myocardial infarction. Highly qualified medical personnel of the clinics provides comprehensive services within the scope of diagnostics and treatment of the cardiovascular system diseases at the highest level around the world. The patients treated in PAKS facilities may count on full rehabilitation and health education provided on the basis of the Health Resort Ustroń [Uzdrowisko Ustroń].

The American Heart of Poland pioneered i.a. in the following:

  • comprehensive treatment of patients with disseminated atheromatosis of the coronary and peripheral arteries (including atheromatosis of carotid arteries);
  • performing complex coronary procedures in patients who are disqualified from cardiac surgical treatment;
  • use of devices for atherectomy of peripheral arteries in order to prevent consequences of ischemia of lower limbs.

The American Heart of Poland has the Research and Development Center, which comprises modern Department of Minimally Invasive and Endoscopic Cardiac Surgery in Bielsko-Biała and the Experimental Laboratory in Kostkowice. Due to financial support from the European Union within the Operational Programme Innovative Economy in the amount of PLN 18 million (as part of support for investments of high importance to the economy), the Center has been performing studies on treatment of heart valve diseases, heart failure and within the scope of blood clotting disorders and treatment.

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First Polish carotid stent launched to the market

First Polish carotid stent launched to the market

Doctors of the American Heart of Poland (PAKS) in cooperation with BALTON company have successfully performed the official implantation of the first Polish hybrid carotid stent named “MER” under cerebral protection of Polish vascular filter ROBIN in the patient with advanced heart and vascular disease. Both devices bear the CE marking and have already been authorized on the EU market.

The procedure was performed during another scientific conference organized by Stowarzyszenie Zawodowe Kardiologów Interwencyjnych [Professional Association of Preventive Cardiologists] and PAKS in Ustroń. It was carried out by a team of experts from the American Heart of Poland under the direction of Professor Paweł Buszman.

The patient, who underwent the official implantation of the first Polish carotid stent, is a 67-year-old male with bilateral stenosis of carotid arteries, burdened with coexisting heart diseases, qualified for cardiac surgery treatment in the form of aortic valve replacement and coronary artery bypass grafts. The attempt of such complex cardiac surgery treatment without previous dilation of the carotid artery would bring high risk of intraoperative cerebral stroke. However, in close future, the carotid artery stenting procedure will allow to perform cardiac surgery treatment safely in this patient within about 6-week period.

In many cases, hybrid carotid stent is a better solution than other stents as it fits in the vessel, and at the same time, it covers the atheromatous plaques in a complete and safe way.

“The first Polish carotid stents named “MER” are made of special material, which has memory of its previous shape. Their implantation was conducted in hybrid technology, i.e. close- and open-cellular, which translates into more effective stabilization of the atheromatous plaques at the stent implantation site”, explains Professor Paweł Buszman, the co-founder of the American Heart of Poland.

Earlier, hybrid carotid stents underwent preclinical research phase under the leadership of Krzysztof Mielewski, MD, PhD, and Piotr Buszman, MD, PhD, at the Research and Development Centre of the American Heart of Poland in Kostkowice, as well as clinical research phase under the leadership of Przemysław Nowakowski, MD, PhD, at Lesser Poland Cardio-Vascular Centre of American Heart of Poland in Chrzanów. At each stage, the procedures proved therapeutic effectiveness in all patients.

“MER” stent has already obtained a certificate of European registration marking (CE mark) and it was officially launched in our market. As in the case of other innovative solutions launched in the Polish market, its price will be competitive in comparison to prices of foreign stents; as a consequence, it will result in their more common use in Polish patients.

“It is a significant achievement of Polish technology and medicine, and it indicates that the concept of scientific and technical cooperation may become a background for breakthrough solutions in Polish economy”, adds Professor Paweł Buszman.

For many years, the American Heart of Poland has been occupying with research activity which includes testing of new medical devices and medicines, as well as methods of treating cardiovascular diseases at Centrum Badawczo Rozwojowe (CBR) [Research and Development Center]. The projects executed by PAKS enabled introduction of the following to clinical practice: first Polish coronary stent made of stainless steel named 316L “Chopin”, coronary stent made of cobalt-chromium alloy named “KOS”, the first paclitaxel-eluting stent which releases antiproliferative drug, paclitaxel, from the surface of biodegradable polymer, “Shellak” coating used on the stent and balloon surface, coronary stent with thin struts made of cobalt-chromium alloy named “Coflexus”, as well as sirolimus-eluting coronary stent “Alex”. Among the newest projects carried out by our R&D Center, the following can be enlisted: program of hybrid myocardial revascularization conducted in patients with advanced multivascular coronary disease, percutaneous mitral annuloplasty procedure used for relieving symptoms of heart failure, aortic valve replacement procedure in aortic valve stenosis for modern self-expanding aortic bioprosthesis 3f Enable by Medtronic (made of equine pericardium), or the procedure of the first Polish drug-coated balloon catheter (PAX®, Balton) used in treatment of vascular diseases.

These solutions have considerably influenced the invasive cardiology development in Poland - not only have they increased the patients’ safety and comfort (reduction in risk of complications and revascularization, reduction of recovery time), but they have also contributed to the improvement of modern technologies accessibility.

As it results from the information recently published by the Ministry of Health on the subject of “Narodowy Program Wyrównywania Dostępności do Profilaktyki i Leczenia Chorób Układu Sercowo-Naczyniowego POLKARD na lata 2013 – 2016” [POLKARD National Program for Heart and Vascular Diseases Prevention and Treatment for the years 2013 - 2016], for over 50 years cardiovascular diseases have invariably remained the most important cause of death among Polish citizens. Thanks to the engagement of Polish cardiologists and broadening of access to the newest medical technologies, mortality rate due to myocardial infarction has significantly lowered in the last 10 years. However, other cardiovascular diseases, including stroke or artery disease of lower limbs, still remain a serious problem.

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