Published on August 13, 2010

Baptist DeSoto Chosen to Participate in FDA Heart Treatment Clinical Trial

SOUTHHAVEN, Miss. - Baptist Memorial Hospital-DeSoto recently became the first hospital in Mississippi and the third in the nation to participate in the Food and Drug Administration's ORBIT II clinical trial.

The study involves using the Diamondback 360, a device originally designed to help remove plaque from the leg arteries, to clear life-threatening plaque and calcium from arteries that supply blood flow to the heart. It has a small wire that snakes through the narrow and hardening arteries and a diamond-coated band that spins to sand away buildup. The faster the band spins, the more plaque and calcium it removes.

"We have had tremendous success in helping patients with plaque buildup in the arteries of the legs. The Diamondback 360 is an amazing device," said Dr. Stevan Himmelstein, cardiologist and study principal investigator.  "We are proud to be one of the only hospitals in the United States using this device as a part of this new and exciting FDA trial. In fact, when this trial is completed and the device is approved for general heart surgery, the Diamondback 360 will be one of the newest advances in cardiac medicine in more than eight years. I'm proud to be a part of this study, and I'm proud to practice at an institution like Baptist that supports these leading-edge clinical trials."

Baptist DeSoto and its staff were chosen for the trial based on its efforts in clinical research, its high number of successful leg procedures using the Diamondback 360, and the fact that Mississippi has the highest heart disease mortality rate in the nation.

Baptist DeSoto is a 339-bed hospital that offers diagnostic, surgical and rehabilitation services. In November 2006, Baptist DeSoto opened a new, 11-story tower, featuring all-private rooms, expanded operating suites and a new emergency room. In 2010, Baptist DeSoto received the Hospital of the Year award (100 beds or more) from the Mississippi Nurses Association. The hospital offers open-heart surgery and a number of other cardiovascular services, and the emergency department's heart attack response rate is, on average, 30 minutes faster than the national benchmark. Baptist DeSoto's inpatient rehabilitation program ranked in the top 1 percent in the nation for quality in a report based on 2009 performance outcomes. In 2010, the hospital's Women's Center became the first breast imaging facility in DeSoto County to offer digital mammography.

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