EECP machine is used for Enhanced External Counter pulsation (EECP). EECP, in most cases, stimulates the openings or formation of collaterals, i.e., small branches of blood vessels. This is done to create a natural bypass around narrowed or blocked arteries.
EECP Machine Components
It consists of:
- A host computer
- A bed and
- A series of pneumatic compressive cuffs
What Happens During ECP/EECP Treatment
- Patients are laid on a padded table.
- The electrocardiograph (ECG) machine is connected to the patient through three electrodes applied on the skin of the chest of the patient. The heart’s rhythm is monitored by ECG. Blood pressure is monitored as well.
- EECP machine has three sets of cuffs wrapped around the calves, thighs, and buttocks. The cuffs attach to air hoses that connect to valves. The valves inflate and deflate the cuffs. During inflation, patients experience a sensation moving from calves to thighs and then to buttocks in an upward direction, which is followed by the rapid release of pressure on deflation. The heartbeat and blood pressure measured using the ECG and blood pressure monitors are electronically in sync with the inflation and deflation.
How the Machine Works
From the distal part to the proximal, the cuffs are inflated in sequence during the diastolic period. The blood backflows to the aorta due to the compression of the inflated cuffs on the limbs and buttocks. This also elevates the blood volume and the aortic pressure. Henceforth, increase the perfusion of those vital organs such as the heart, brain, and kidney.
Before the systolic phase, the cuffs are deflated swiftly; thus, the limbs’ vessels are consequently decompressed. As a result, the peripheral resistance falls drastically. This makes blood ejected from the ventricle flow to the extreme arteries through the aorta. According to the cardiac period, the equipment inflates and deflates the cuffs to complete the treatment.
Key Features of Most Machines
- R wave of ECG is automatically recognized.
- Whenever the machine detects poor ECG signals, it stops.
- If the heart rate goes out of range, treatment stops automatically.
- Designed to reduce noise and heat buildup.
How to Find Whether a Patient Is Fit for the EECP Therapy
- If you suffer from chronic angina.
- Taking Nitrates for angina is not giving you any relief.
- If you are not the right candidate for invasive procedures like bypass surgery, stenting, or angioplasty, non-invasive therapy is for you.
EECP Therapy Should Not Be Used For
- Patients with Arrhythmias can have machines trigger interference.
- Patients with Active Thrombophlebitis.
- Patients with Bleeding Diathesis.
- Those who have Severe lower extremity vaso-occlusive disease.
- Patients with the presence of a documented aortic aneurysm requiring surgical repair.
- Females who are pregnant should not undergo ECP.
Few precautions should be properly taken care of before using the machine for the therapy. Patients who have blood pressure higher than 180/110 and heart rate more than 120 bpm should be controlled before treatment. Doctors who are fully trained for ECP/EECP therapy and are well versed with the machine should be allowed to operate.