Coordinated, statewide system speeds care for heart attacks

ABC World News reported, “More than 1.2 million Americans will suffer a heart attack this year and today, a new report declared one state, North Carolina, is showing the rest of us how to save lives.”

The Raleigh (NC) News & Observer reports, “The program, called RACE-ER [Reperfusion of Acute Myocardial Infarction in Carolina Emergency Departments – Emergency Response], took place from July 2008 through December 2009. It was an expanded version of an 2007 pilot program.”

The program “coordinated emergency heart attack care among … 119 hospitals and more than 500 response agencies across the state.”

On its website, ABC News reports, “Across the 119 North Carolina hospitals that participated in the program, the proportion of patients treated within 90 minutes rose from 83 percent to 89 percent.”

The study also found that “patients treated within 90 minutes were half as likely to die from a heart attack.”

MedPage Today reports, “The median door-to-device time declined from 64 to 59 minutes for patients who presented directly to a hospital equipped to perform percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), and the time from the first hospital door to device deployment declined from 117 to 103 minutes for patients who required a transfer, the researchers reported in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.”

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