Almost all myocardial infarction patients who need angioplasty are receiving it within 90 minutes of being admitted to the hospital — a marked improvement from five years ago, when most patients waited longer for the life-saving procedure, according to a report.
Published in Circulation: Journal of American Heart Association, the five-year study is one of the most comprehensive analyses of angioplasty timeliness, according to the researchers. For patients with ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction, angioplasty should be performed as quickly as possible within the recommended 90 minutes from hospital arrival.
Lead author Harlan M. Krumholz, MD, and colleagues with Yale School of Medicine analyzed nationwide hospital data, collected by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, from more than 300,000 patients undergoing emergency angioplasty from Jan. 1, 2005, to Sept. 30, 2010, including those not covered by Medicare.
The study showed that 91% of patients were treated in a door-to-balloon time of less than 90 minutes in 2010, compared with 44% in 2005. And 70% of these patients were treated in less than 75 minutes in 2010, compared with 27% in 2005. The median door-to-balloon time declined from 96 to 64 minutes over the course of the study.
Krumholz credited the recent progress to concerted efforts nationwide among federal agencies, healthcare organizations and clinicians to improve myocardial infarction care and outcomes by accelerating treatment.
“Many said that this level of improvement was impossible to achieve,” Krumholz said. “This is an opportunity to reflect on our achievement and to recognize that, when we identify quality issues and problems in our healthcare system, we can work as a community to generate new knowledge, apply it to practice and improve care for patients.”
To view the study data, visit http://bit.ly/rcbOXH.