‘My motivation is just to do right for the patient:’ Phoebe surgeon performs 100 lifesaving procedures
ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - A Phoebe surgeon is celebrating a national accomplishment after completing 100 clot removal procedures.
What might not seem like a major procedure has been impacting many patients’ lives in just a matter of minutes thanks to the work of Dr. Daniel Martin.
According to the CDC, as many as 900,000 people nationwide could be affected each year by life-threatening blood clots. Blood clots can be useful when your body is repairing an injury or cut, but when blood clumps together, it can plug up important vessels, your lungs or heart.
Martin has been able to perform 100 blood clot procedures faster than any other physician in the country.
“The procedure is simple. It’s just a little needle stick to the groin. The patient doesn’t have to go under general anesthesia. We just got up with the catheter and really go into each branch of the artery and suck all that clot out,” he said.
The INARI Medical Flow Triever device is a simpler way to save lives. Before patients would receive blood thinners and would have to stay in the ICU longer or receive medicine internally to get rid of the blood clot which had a higher risk of deadly bleeding. But now, the new procedure that Phoebe started offering two years ago is done in half the time.
“What this does is kind of a total game changer. These patients would come in, we remove all the clot and they would go home the next day. And they get instant gratification or instant changes back to normal,” Martin said.
Martin said it’s not about how many procedures he does but how much awareness he spreads.
“I think there’s a lot of patients that are missed you know. They’re going to outside facilities and they’re treated the old traditional way and not being referred. the goal is to increase awareness and increase those referrals because I think the patients really benefit,” he said.
Over the course of a week, Martin said he sees about five to 10 patients come up here with life-threatening blood clots. One of those patients is Anthony McDonald who said he feels good after getting the procedure.
He said he had been experiencing shortness of breath for four months. It wasn’t until Wednesday when he almost passed out at work that he finally decided to go to the hospital. Dr. Martin removed this from his lungs.
“He came and he was extremely, he couldn’t hardly even talk to you. He was so short of breath. But you can tell as soon as we had removed all that clot, I mean he was breathing normally on the table and today he sitting up and he’s ready to go home,” Martin said.
It was all made possible by the updated blood clot procedure Martin has done 100 times over.
“It’s almost like a new life you know when you can breathe,” McDonald said.
It’s that reaction from patients that keeps Martin inspired to continue his work.
“My motivation is just to do right for the patient. I’m just glad that the people of Southwest Georgia get this benefit,” he said.
McDonald echoed a piece of advice he wishes he would have taken himself.
“Don’t hesitate to come in and get yourself checked out. It could have been much (more) serious,” he said.
Anyone experiencing any symptoms such as leg swelling, pain or shortness of breath, is encouraged to go to the hospital to get it checked out as soon as possible.
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