Heart Attack Victims Just As Likely To Survive During Off-Hours
Heart attack victims who receive treatment during off-hours have the same chance of survival as those who receive treatment during normal-hours, new study suggests.
According to reports from Reuters Health, Italian researchers surveyed over 3,000 patients who had a heart procedure done at one of their 28 hospitals. Their findings show that contrary to popular belief, patients who were treated at night, over the weekend, or on holidays had a similar rate of survival as patients who were treated on weekdays.
Six percent of the off-hours patients died in the hospital compared to seven percent of patients treated during normal-hours. After one year, eight percent of off-hours patients had died as opposed to 10 percent of those treated during normal-hours.
Patients in the study had all suffered from what is known as an ST-segment elevation heart attack, when an artery supplying the heart with blood is obstructed. The treatment involves inserting a thin, balloon-tipped catheter into the blood vessel to move the obstruction and then leaving a stent in to keep the artery open.
Though past studies have suggested that this procedure was less successful in patients who were treated during off-hours, lead researcher Dr. Gianni Casella says the findings from this new study prove differently and though the data collected was taken strictly from hospitals in Italy, both the U.S. and Europe have conducted similar studies with similar findings.
According to statistics from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S.