Press Releases

July 19th, 2021 Baptist Health South Florida

Baptist Health’s Miami Cardiac & Vascular Institute is the First in Florida to Offer SuperSaturated Oxygen Therapy to Patients Suffering from “Widowmaker” Heart Attacks

First and Only Treatment to Mitigate Heart Muscle Damage Following Intervention Could Increase Long-term Survival for Heart Attack Patients

MIAMI, FL – July 19, 2021 – Baptist Health’s Miami Cardiac & Vascular Institute is the first in the southeastern United States to improve treatment of “widowmaker” heart attack patients with SuperSaturated Oxygen (SSO2) Therapy, the first and only FDA-approved therapy that could reduce muscle damage in heart attack patients after intervention.

A heart attack is typically caused when the flow of blood and oxygen to the heart is blocked or reduced. For many patients, even after blood flow is quickly restored with intervention via angioplasty and stenting to restore blood flow, irreversible damage to the heart muscle (called infarction) occurs. SSO2 Therapy delivers localized superoxygenated, hyperoxemic blood to improve microvascular blood flow and reduce damage to the heart muscle.

According to the American Heart Association, every year approximately 800,000 people in the U.S. have heart attacks. Intervention immediately following the heart attack typically includes angioplasty and stenting, and this has been the standard of care for more than 25 years. However, up to 30 percent of heart attack patients develop heart failure within one year,[1] and a diagnosis of heart failure carries a more than 50 percent mortality rate at 5 years.[2] SSO2 Therapy has been shown in clinical trials to consistently and safely reduce damage and scarring (infarct size) in widowmaker heart attack patients. Decades of research on heart attack patients has demonstrated that infarct size reduction is correlated with reduced mortality and heart failure, and better left ventricular function.[3]

SSO2 Therapy delivers hyperoxemic levels of dissolved oxygen (7-10x normal) directly to the damaged heart muscle immediately after the coronary artery has been successfully opened via angioplasty and stenting. It is indicated for patients who suffer the most serious kind of heart attacks, left anterior descending ST-elevation myocardial infarction (LAD STEMI) – also known as widowmakers due to the high mortality rate – and are treated within six hours of symptom onset.

“By delivering high concentrations of dissolved oxygen right to the heart tissue, SSO2 Therapy can help recover impaired heart muscle and ultimately reduce cardiac tissue damage,” said Dr. Ramon Quesada, Medical Director of Structural Heart, and Complex Coronary Intervention for the Institute. “Miami Cardiac & Vascular Institute is proud to provide this cutting-edge solution, and remains committed to helping prevent heart failure in patients in the South Florida community and beyond.”

SSO2 Therapy was developed by Irvine, California-based ZOLL TherOx and is the first and only FDA-approved treatment beyond percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) to significantly reduce muscle damage in heart attack patients. Additional information about SSO2 Therapy is available at on our website.

About Miami Cardiac & Vascular Institute
Miami Cardiac & Vascular Institute is the largest and most comprehensive cardiovascular facility in the region. The team of multilingual, multidisciplinary specialists pioneered the development of minimally invasive techniques used to treat aneurysms, blockages in veins and arteries and holes in the heart. The Institute leverages the power of Baptist Health’s combined resources of experts, pioneering research, compassionate caregivers and leading-edge treatments and technology.

Miami Cardiac & Vascular Institute is part of Baptist Health South Florida, the largest healthcare organization in the region, with 11 hospitals, more than 23,000 employees, 4,000 physicians and 100 outpatient centers, urgent care facilities and physician practices spanning across Miami-Dade, Monroe, Broward and Palm Beach counties. Baptist Health has internationally renowned centers of excellence in cancer, cardiovascular care, orthopedics and sports medicine, and neurosciences. In addition, it includes Baptist Health Medical Group; Baptist Health Quality Network; and Baptist Health Care On Demand, a virtual health platform. A not-for-profit organization supported by philanthropy and committed to its faith-based charitable mission of medical excellence, Baptist Health has been recognized by Fortune as one of the 100 Best Companies to Work For in America and by Ethisphere as one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies. For more information, visit BaptistHealth.net/Newsroom and connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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[1] Jenča D, et al. Heart failure after myocardial infarction: incidence and predictors. ESC Heart Failure. 2021;8:222-237.

[2] Taylor C J, et al. Trends in survival after a diagnosis of heart failure in the United Kingdom 2000-2017: population based cohort study BMJ 2019; 364 :l223 doi:10.1136/bmj.l223.

[3] Stone, G.W. et al. Relationship Between Infarct Size and Outcomes Following Primary PCI: Patient-Level Analysis From 10 Randomized Trials. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2016;67(14):1674–83.


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