A recent USA Today article noted “The Medicare metric for timely heart attack treatment is … “door-to-balloon” time — the time between when a heart attack patient arrives in the ER and when the balloon angiography begins — researchers found that the percentage of heart attack patients who die while in the hospital, about 5%, hasn’t changed.”
“Irreversible damage from a heart attack can begin in 30 minutes. Most tissue death occurs in the first two to three hours…” “A new study suggests that speeding up hospital care isn’t enough to save lives … A better predictor of survival might be ‘symptom to balloon time’…”
“Patients need to be aware of the symptoms of heart attack and be encouraged to call 911 as soon as possible…” “‘While men often suffer from classic heart attack symptoms — such as chest pain, arm pain or shortness of breath — women may experience different symptoms, such as nausea, jaw pain, back pain, vomiting or heavy fatigue,’ she says.”
Click here to read the full USA Today story “Faster care hasn’t cut heart attack deaths in hospitals” by Liz Szabo.
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Jonathan M. Metsch, Dr.P.H., is Clinical Professor, Preventive Medicine, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai; and Adjunct Professor, Baruch College ( C.U.N.Y.), Rutgers School of Public Health, and Rutgers School of Public Affairs and Administration.
This blog shares general information about understanding and navigating the health care system. For specific medical advice about your own problems, issues and options talk to your personal physician.