Treatment is just a heartbeat away

February 24, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- Those who delay going to hospital or calling an ambulance when experiencing chest pain - acute coronary syndrome (ACS) - have a higher mortality and morbidity rate than those who don’t.

A study released by Professor of Critical Care Nursing, Sharon McKinley at the University of Technology, Sydney has demonstrated that people are arriving at the too late to receive maximum benefit from treatment.

Professor McKinley and her colleagues have highlighted the need for greater awareness and increased education on the benefits of early hospital treatment for ACS.

"ACS is where the heart muscles begin to die due to a lack of oxygen, the longer the heart is in this condition the more severe the effects. People who delay going to hospital or do not call an can have increased short term complications and a higher risk of heart attacks in the future." McKinley said.

"The study reinforces the need to address the problem of delays in deciding to seek treatment after the recognition of ACS symptoms," She said. "I encourage everyone to call an ambulance as those who do have a 30% shorter transportation time to hospital." Professor McKinley said.

Cardiologist Professor Gregory Nelson at Royal North Shore hospital said, “The results from Professor McKinley's study mimic our own experience in the management of patients with heart attack. Only 50% of patients actually call an ambulance when experiencing ACS symptoms.”

"Every fifteen minute delay increases the patient's chance of dying by 1%. I suggest anyone who is experiencing symptoms of ACS should call 000 immediately as ambulance services are equipped to deal with a heart attack," Professor Nelson said.

Professor McKinley said, "Coronary artery disease continues to be a significant cause of death and disability in the developed world." In Australia there are approximately 130 heart attacks a day; half of those are fatal.

The study has been published online as an Early View article in Emergency Medicine Australasia and the Journal of Australasian College for Emergency Medicine.

More information: onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10 … 011.01385.x/abstract

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Migraines may be the brain's way of dealing with oxidative stress

October 19, 2017
A new perspective article highlights a compelling theory about migraine attacks: that they are an integrated mechanism by which the brain protects and repairs itself. Recent insightful findings and potential ways to use them ...

New insights into herpes virus could inform vaccine development

October 18, 2017
A team of scientists has discovered new insights into the mechanisms of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection, as well as two antibodies that block the virus' entry into cells. The findings, published in Proceedings of the National ...

Pair of discoveries illuminate new paths to flu and anthrax treatments

October 17, 2017
Two recent studies led by biologists at the University of California San Diego have set the research groundwork for new avenues to treat influenza and anthrax poisoning.

Portable 3-D scanner assesses patients with elephantiasis

October 17, 2017
An estimated 120 million people worldwide are infected with lymphatic filariasis, a parasitic, mosquito-borne disease that can cause major swelling and deformity of the legs, a condition known as elephantiasis. Health-care ...

New tools to combat kidney fibrosis

October 16, 2017
Interstitial fibrosis – excessive tissue scarring – contributes to chronic kidney disease, which is increasing in prevalence in the United States.

How hepatitis C hides in the body

October 13, 2017
The Hepatitis C (HCV) virus is a sly enemy to have in one's body. Not only does it manage to make itself invisible to the immune system by breaking down communication between the immune cells, it also builds secret virus ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.