Cardiology: Trial Balloon in the Aorta

The 45-year-old Brooklyn woman had survived the first few critical hours after a severe heart attack and should have been on her way to recovery. But part of the muscle in the wall of her left ventricle, the heart's main pumping chamber, was too badly damaged to snap back spontaneously. Six hours after the patient reached the hospital, she was in shock—blue in the face and in a cold sweat. Doctors at Brooklyn's Maimonides Medical Center wanted to give her circulation a boost, at least for a few hours. If her heart could...

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