Timely treatment of heart attacks: Results from the AMI-QUEBEC Study

Huynh and coauthors report the findings of the AMI-QUEBEC Study, which looked at delays in providing reperfusion therapy, potentially life-saving treatment to restore blood flow to the heart muscle, to patients with ST-segment elevation acute myocardial infarction (STEMI) who were admitted to 17 hospitals in Quebec in 2003. They also identify factors associated with the failure to deliver reperfusion therapy within recommended times.

The success of reperfusion therapy depends on how much time has passed from the onset of a heart attack to the administration of the treatment (often termed "door-to-needle" time if fibrinolytic therapy is given and "door-to-balloon" time if percutaneous coronary intervention [PCI], or balloon angioplasty, is used).

The authors found that almost half of the patients who received fibrinolytic therapy were treated within 30 minutes, a substantial improvement over the median door-to-needle time of 85 minutes reported during 1991/92, when only 3% of Canadian patients were treated within 30 minutes. However, they found that door-to-balloon times exceeded current recommended times in the majority of patients.

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p. 1527 Delays to reperfusion therapy in acute ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction: results from the AMI-QUEBEC Study
http://www.cmaj.ca/pressrelease/pg1527.pdf

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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