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Many missing key heart attack care

17 September 2014 09:10

A study has suggested many attack patients are not receiving the level of after care they need

A study has suggested many attack patients are not receiving the level of after care they need

Researchers believe thousands of heart attack victims could be failing to receive a key aspect of potentially life-saving care.

The team from the University of Leeds studied more than 100,000 people who'd suffered a heart attack to see which of the nine key aspects of care they had received.

Among the 31,000 who should have received all nine, more than 15,000 missed out on at least one.

The team says the key components of care include:

• The restoration of blood flow to the heart

• Prescribing aspirin when patients are sent home from hospital

• Referring heart attack victims for cardiac rehabilitation following their discharge

• The use of four heart attack treatment drugs at the appropriate time

The researchers say their findings show that patients who fail to get one or more aspect of care are 46% more likely to die within a month of being discharged from hospital than those receiving all nine.

And heart attack sufferers who missed out on any of the key treatments are said to be 74% more likely to die within 12 months than those who get them all.

Those who've recovered from a heart attack or have a history of heart disease, meanwhile, will need to take out pre-existing medical insurance if they're planning to travel abroad on holiday or for business.

Published in the European Heart Journal: Acute Cardiovascular Care, the study covers patients who suffered an ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) heart attack.

The researchers say their findings show that some care opportunities are being commonly missed, something that is linked to an increased mortality rate.

Dr Chris Gale, the study's lead author, says many of the patients could have survived had they received timely and comprehensive care and treatment.

Dr Gale says it is crucial that healthcare workers get the training to make them aware of the importance of the nine types of treatment that can hold the key to saving the lives of heart attack patients.