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Cardiovascular Health Channel
Reported January 17, 2006

Angioplasty Done Right

(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- It's considered one of the best treatments for a heart attack, but not all hospitals automatically give an angioplasty in emergency situations, putting some patients at risk.

Some hospitals don't have the ability to perform an angioplasty on an emergency basis. So, during the evenings or weekends, these hospitals instead use clot-busting drugs.

In a new study, from the University if Michigan in Ann Arbor and Yale University in New Haven, Conn., researchers report patients are less likely to die and will receive faster treatment if they have their emergency angioplasty at a hospital where it is the default treatment given to the vast majority of heart attack patients.

Researchers say patients treated in hospitals where angioplasty is performed on a part-time basis have a significantly higher chance of dieing. Also, patients waited an average of 20 minutes longer to receive their emergency procedure. Many waited longer than the 90-minute window during which emergency angioplasty is thought to be most effective.

Researchers compared data on 463 hospitals.

Researchers say their results show hospitals administering clot-busting drugs to patients, rather than an angioplasty, need to find ways to make emergency heart attack treatment more efficient around the clock.

This article was reported by Ivanhoe.com who offers Medical Alerts by e-mail every day of the week. To subscribe, go to /newsalert/.

SOURCE: Circulation, 2006;113:&NA

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