Inequity in access to life-saving PCI

Libin Cardiovascular Institute of Alberta trainee Alka Patel, along with co-authors Dr. William Ghali and Dr. Merril Knudtson, has just published a study highlighting the inequity across Canada when it comes to life-saving PCI access.


  • Best access exists in certain urban settings such as Calgary, which has 24/7 PCI access and the best heart attack survival rate in the country for several years running.
  • Only 15.8% of adults aged 40 and older in New Brunswick have access to PCI.

Read the Press Release

Read the Journal Article

In the media – CTV Article, CTV Video, Global Article, Global Video, CBC, Globe & Mail, Calgary Sun, Vancouver Sun, Winnipeg Free Press, Calgary Herald 1, Calgary Herald 2, Vancouver Province, Amherst Daily, iNews 880, Metro Calgary, Metro Edmonton, Metro Vancouver, Metro Toronto, Metro Ottawa, Metro Halifax, Montreal Gazette, Canadian Press, Telegraph-Journal, Top News (UK), University of Calgary

What is PCI?

PCI stands for Percutaneous Coronary Intervention and is also known as coronary angioplasty. The most common procedure uses a balloon to open up narrowed blood vessels. The procedure was invented in Switzerland by Dr. Andreas Gruntzig in 1977. Dr. Gruntzig moved to North America in 1980, where his first group of three trainees at Emory University included Dr. Merril Knudtson (a co-author on the above study). Dr. Knudtson, a member of the Libin Cardiovascular Institute of Alberta, has been widely credited with large-scale introduction and training on the procedure in Canada. He was Chair of the Interventional Cardiology Workshop at the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress for the first twenty years of its existence.


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