UK doctors have saved a man's life by using a shot of neat alcohol to induce a heart attack, which has killed off part of his heart. It sounds controversial, and it is. But standard treatments had failed.
Ronald Aldom, a 77-year-old from the town of Portishead near Bristol suffered from an usual heart rhythm called ventricular tachycardia, BBC News reports.
Mr Aldom's Cardiologist Dr. Tom Johnson told the Daily Mail his patient would have died without such rare measures.
The 77-year-old's VT occurred as the result of a previous heart attack. After standard procedures failed, doctors decided to treat Mr. Aldom with an "ethanol ablation," a procedure that involves passing a catheter into a blood vessel in the groin and then guiding it up toward the heart, BBC News reports.
The ethanol dose is administered once the catheter can identify where the dangerous heart rhythms are coming from.
The ethanol kills the part of the heart which is causing the problem and the heart's rhythm returns to normal. This treatment has only been used a handful of times in the UK.
The patient, Ronald Aldom. explained to ITV, he had an ICD fitted about ten years ago after a double by-pass operation.
"The device gives my heart a shock when the rhythm becomes abnormal. However", Aldom continued, I had about 30 shocks and knew there was something wrong."
Dr Tom Johnson said Mr. Aldom was doing "much better" after the rare treatment was performed, BBC News reports.
"He wasn't going to leave the hospital unless something was done. There was no other option."
"After the procedure I was out of the hospital within about three days," Ronald Aldom told the Daily Mail.
"I think it's wonderful that the doctors tried everything to help me. If they hadn't done this I wouldn't be here now."