Navigation Links
Heart Attack Victims Face Greater Risk of Dying When Ambulances Are Diverted

SUNDAY, June 12 (HealthDay News) -- Heart attack patients whose ambulances are diverted from the nearest ER to another one further away are at greater risk of dying -- not just soon after the heart attack, but for up to a year after the intervention, a new study finds.

Researchers examined data from 13,860 Medicare patients who were admitted to emergency departments for heart attack at hospitals in four California counties (Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara) between 2000 and 2005. Ambulance traffic was diverted from the nearest emergency department to another hospital on an average of 7.9 hours out of 24 hours.

Compared to patients who received care at the nearest hospital, those whose nearest emergency department were diverting ambulances for 12 hours or more had higher death rates after 30 days (19 percent vs. 15 percent), 90 days (26 percent vs. 22 percent), 9 months (33 percent vs. 28 percent), and one year (35 percent vs. 29 percent).

The researchers also found differences in treatment patterns once patients were admitted to the emergency department. Catheterization rates were 49 percent for patients who weren't diverted and 42 percent for those whose nearest emergency department was sending ambulances to a hospital further away for 12 hours or more.

Rates of percutaneous coronary interventions such as balloon angioplasty or stent placement was 31 percent for patients who weren't diverted and 24 percent for patients who were diverted during a 12-hour period or more.

The study appears online and in the June 15 print issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, and will be presented at an AcademyHealth meeting.

"These findings point to the need for more targeted interventions to appropriately distribute system-level resources in such a way to decrease crowding and diversion, so that patients with time-sensitive conditions such as [heart attack] are not adversely affected," wrote the researchers, Yu-Chu Shen of the Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, Calif., and National Bureau of Economic Research, Cambridge, Mass., and Dr. Renee Y. Hsia, of the University of California, San Francisco.

"It is important to emphasize that while demand on emergency care is increasing as evidenced by increasing utilization, supply of emergency care is decreasing. If these issues are not addressed on a larger scale, ED conditions will deteriorate, having significant implications for all," they concluded.

Some other experts agreed. Commenting on the study, Dr. Carl Ramsay, chairman of the department of emergency medicine at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, said, "While the public sees ambulance diversion as a sign of ED overcrowding, those of us in emergency medicine have known for years that it actually reflects failed processes in the [non-emergency department] areas of the hospital."

"How many people actually know that unbalanced surgical scheduling by stacking up Monday through Thursday {operating room] schedules creates ED overcrowding, which creates ambulance diversion?" Ramsay continued. "This is only one in a chain of many dysfunctional links that leads directly back to the streets that carry patients to hospital emergency departments."

"This study focuses on death as the primary endpoint. The more that optimal disease management is discovered to be time-sensitive -- as in heart attack, stroke and sepsis -- most of the affected patients who do not reach care within the optimal timeframe will not die (thus the mortality figures will not substantially change), but will have permanent alterations that affect their ability to live a quality existence," he said.

"This impacts the person, their family and our society," Ramsay added. "This study reveals the tip of the iceberg."

More information

The American College of Emergency Physicians outlines situations when you need to call an ambulance.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCES: Carl Ramsay, M.D., chairman, department of emergency medicine, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City; Journal of the American Medical Association, news release, June 12, 2011

Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. ICU Patients at Risk for Rare Heart Rhythm Problem
2. Cook With Love This Valentines Day With Heart-Smart Recipes
3. Study finds racial gaps continue in heart disease awareness
4. Highmark Foundation Awards $120,000 to the American Heart Association
5. Womens Heart Disease Awareness Still Lacking
6. American Heart Association Rapid Access Journal Report: Study Finds Racial Gaps Continue in Heart Disease Awareness, Low Knowledge of Heart Attack Warning Signs Among Women
7. Migraine Linked to Increased Heart Attack Risk
8. PERSONALABS Offers Discounted Healthy Heart Online Blood Tests in February
9. Compound shows promise against intractable heart failure
10. New American Heart Association Survey Finds Heart Disease and Stroke Patients Face Significant Barriers in Obtaining Quality, Affordable Care
11. Ex-President Clinton Undergoes Heart Procedure
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Heart Attack Victims Face Greater Risk of Dying When Ambulances Are Diverted
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. ... that the organization has awarded Education and Developmental Therapies (EDT), an Applied Behavior ... award celebrates exceptional special needs providers that excel in synthesizing the areas of ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... 01, 2015 , ... Lutronic, a leading innovator of aesthetic and medical laser ... devices for sale in the United States. Clarity is a Superior Dual Wavelength ... lasers, into a single platform that is easy to own and operate. , ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... December 01, 2015 , ... XTC ... selected 10 semi-finalists to head to Las Vegas for CES 2016, the world’s largest ... CEO of Consumer Technology Association Gary Shapiro, Founding Partner of Pacific Investments Veronica Serra, ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... ... Nurotron Biotechnology Co., Ltd., maker of cochlear implant systems, has won a ... will be from the China Disabled Persons’ Federation, a central government association, for nearly ... children and adults suffering from severe and profound hearing loss . The company ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... , ... December 01, 2015 , ... ... Center Enterprise Authorized Technology Provider (ATP) status from Cisco. This designation recognizes Tympani ... support Cisco Unified Contact Center solutions targeted to the high-end enterprise contact center ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/1/2015)... India , December 1, 2015 ... and segments the concerned market with analysis and forecast ... orthobiologics report defines and segments the concerned market ... According to the Market Research Report "North American Orthobiologics ... Growth Factors & Spinal Stimulation, Stem Cell Therapy, Viscosupplementation), ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... and UPPSALA, Sweden , December 1, 2015 ... by the International Breast Cancer Study Group (IBCSG, ... Brussels ) to be part of a state ... promising new cancer drug.  --> ... advanced breast cancer being treated with anti-hormonal therapy in combination ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... , December 1, 2015 ... the addition of the  "2016 Shigella ... Innovative Technologies, Competitive Strategies, Emerging Opportunities--US, ... Japan"  report to their offering. ... the addition of the  "2016 Shigella ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: