Hospitals speed up treatment

A check of US metro-area hospitals showed that most already are using newly recommended best practices for treating heart attack patients, unblocking arteries within 90 minutes of patients arriving at emergency rooms.

Local heart hospitals in USA say they follow these six recommended measures for treating heart attack patients within 90 minutes of arrival with angioplasty, a proven lifesaver.

– Let ER doctors activate the catheterization lab and prepare it for angioplasty instead of waiting for a cardiologist to review a case and decide what to do. (Time saved: 8.2 minutes)

– Establish a one-call system so a central operator pages an angioplasty team instead of having ER staff hunt down phone numbers and individual doctors. (13.8 minutes)

– Have the ER activate the cath lab when paramedics alert them that an electrocardiogram done in the ambulance shows the patient is suffering a heart attack. (15.4 minutes)

– Expect staff to be at the cath lab within 20 minutes of being paged. (19.3 minutes)

– Have a cardiologist on site at all times. (14.6 minutes)

– Give immediate feedback to the staff on how they did on each case. (8.6 minutes)

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