Nearly all heart attack patients getting treatment within recommended time-frame

Kathleen Blanchard's picture
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Research findings show nearly all patients experiencing heart attack, and in need of balloon angioplasty to open blocked arteries, are getting timely treatment. Compared to 2005, "door to balloon or D2B time” for angioplasties has improved from 44 percent of patients getting treatment within the recommended 90 minutes, 91 percent.

The finding comes from Yale School of Medicine researchers and colleagues, and is published in Circulation: Journal of American Heart Association.

Rapid heart attack treatment achieved through effort

In the five year analysis, the researchers found many patients arrive at the hospital and are in the heart catheterization lab within 75 minutes. That's a boost from 27 percent in 2005.

According to Harlan M. Krumholz, M.D, lead study author, "Many said that this level of improvement was impossible to achieve."

The analysis comes from a review of over 300,000 patients undergoing emergency angioplasty from Jan. 1, 2005, to Sept. 30, 2010.

The positive results are the result of identify quality of care issues and a collaborative effort of agencies, hospital and clinicians, through the efforts of the D2B Alliance.

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Krumholz said, “…when we identify quality issues and problems in our healthcare system, we can work as a community to generate new knowledge, apply it to practice and improve care for patients."

Interestingly, the analysis comes two months after researchers writing in the Journal of the American Medical Association identified gaps in getting heart attack patients transferred to hospitals that can perform angioplasty within a 30 minute time-frame.

The goal is to get heart attack patients to a hospital within 30 minutes so angioplasty can be performed within the 90 minute time period.

The finding means fewer patients are likely to die from complications of heart attack. Rapid treatment to restore blood show with angioplasty, stents or “clot busting” medications is associated with lower mortality rates.

A 2009 study published in TheHeart.org, titled “Any delay in door-to-balloon time associated with increased in-hospital mortality”, suggests reducing D2B times as much as possible.

The new finding shows patients are getting faster angioplasty treatment for heart attack. During the study, the average time for it took a heart attack patient to receive angioplasty intervention decreased from 96 to 64 minutes.

Citation: Circulation DOI: 10.1161/CirculationHA.111.044107

Resource:
Theheart.org

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