Life saver

AN Adur man has become the 50th person in Sussex to be treated with a new life-saving drug after having a suspected heart attack.

Paramedics gave Michael Lighton a new clot-busting thrombolysis drug when they were called to his Sompting home, following a 999 call, earlier this month.

Recovering at home, Mr Lighton said: "I've always been a healthy person who never has to visit his doctor and I was scared by what was happening to me, as I haven't had any problems with my heart previously.

"I'm really grateful to the ambulance crew for all they did, as the hospital told me that being given the thrombolysis treatment so early on really made a difference to my recovery."

When paramedics Andy Tombs and Mark Booker arrived at Mr Lighton's house, they found he was sweating and suffering from chest pains, and pins and needles in his arms and legs.

After several tests to find out if Mr Lighton was suitable for the treatment, Mr Tombs gave him the drug while he was still in his home.

Mr Lighton was then taken by ambulance to Worthing Hospital, where he spent 10 days in the coronary care unit. He is now making a good recovery.

The thrombolysis drug dissolves blood clots in the heart.

In the past, this treatment could be given only in hospitals, but ambulance staff started using the drug in October, 2003.

Clive Butler, from Sussex Ambulance Service, commented: "I am really pleased that we have rea-ched the milestone of 50 patients receiving this vital treatment from our staff.

"Through extending their clinical skills to be able to safely deliver thrombolysis, our staff are making a real difference, every day, to the lives of our patients."