Hospitals to speed care in treating heart attacks

To improve patient care, especially treating patients suffering from heart attack, hundreds of hospitals in USA are joining an ambitious project intended to give faster emergency room care.

Fewer than a third of such patients now have their blocked arteries reopened within 90 minutes of arrival, as guidelines recommend. The risk of dying goes up 42 percent if care is delayed even half an hour longer.

This project is to begin on Monday at the American Heart Association conference in Chicago.

Major medical groups and government agencies, including the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, have endorsed the project. The institute?s director, Dr. Elizabeth G. Nabel, called it the biggest heart care initiative since paramedics were trained in CPR in the early ?90s.

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