September 3, 2009

Immediate Intervention for Heart Patients Similar to Waiting

By Kelley Luckstein

Patients rushed to the hospital for treatment of a suspected heart attack may fare just as well by waiting until the next day to have a procedure done, a French study has found.


Performing artery-clearing procedures such as angioplasty or inserting a stent in people when they come to the hospital emergency room had similar results as waiting a day, the study found. The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, found little difference in heart muscle damage among patients whether they were given procedures 70 minutes or 21 hours after admission.


The findings go against a common view that delaying treatment for a suspected heart attack will lead to poor outcomes. The study shows that waiting until the next day when a patient’s own doctor can perform the procedure works just as well in many cases as performing the procedure immediately, which may involve calling in an emergency team, said Chet Rihal, who runs the catheterization lab at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, and wasn’t an author of today’s paper.


Bloomberg by Nicole Ostrow, 09/01/09

Tags: Cardiology, heart attack

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