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Hospitals in the United States are delivering faster emergency care to heart-attack patients, increasing their survival, an analysis found.

Hospitals in the United States are delivering faster emergency care to heart-attack patients, increasing their survival, an analysis found. In 2009, 88% of patients with the most urgent kind of heart attacks received artery-clearing procedures within the recommended 90 minutes of arriving at the hospital, compared with 64.5% in 2007, the study found. The hospitals performed angioplasty and inserted stents for the emergency patients, and for others prescribed recommended drugs to reduce deaths and complications, according to the research published last week in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. The analysis showed how hospitals can meet benchmarks for improving heart-attack care and adhere to medical guidelines, said study author Christopher Cannon. The report may be issued yearly to detail the progress being made in patient care, he said. "This provides direct evidence that our efforts are working," said Cannon, a cardiologist at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston and past chairman of the American College of Cardiology's heart attack registry. "The notion of measuring how we're doing and trying to do even better pays off. That is likely the way health care will improve over the coming decade," he added.

This year, about 770,000 Americans will have their first heart attack, where blood flow to the organ is suddenly cut off or reduced, and about 430,000 will have a recurrent attack, according to the American College of Cardiology. About 38% of those heart attacks will result in death. Half of those deaths occur within one hour of symptoms occurring. Researchers in the study used guidelines for heart-attack care from the cardiology group and the American Heart Association to measure how well hospitals were meeting these benchmarks.
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Title Annotation:NEWS BRIEFS
Publication:MondayMorning
Date:Jul 19, 2010
Words:281
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