Navigation Links
Heart Attack Victims Face Greater Risk of Dying When Ambulances Are Diverted
Date:6/12/2011

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:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Heart Attack Victims Face Greater Risk of Dying When Ambulances Are Diverted
(Date:5/5/2016)... ... May 05, 2016 , ... Vitenas Cosmetic Surgery has been ... presented by the American Institute of Architects and the Academy of Architecture for Health. ... Perkins+Will and Harrell Architects, opened to patients in October of 2014. ...
(Date:5/5/2016)... ... 05, 2016 , ... Dr. Benjamin Stong of Kalos Facial Plastic Surgery, LLC ... Stong is double board certified and the only facial plastic surgeon in Atlanta to ... Non-surgical therapies such as stem cells can be used to provide stabilization to hair ...
(Date:5/5/2016)... ... May 05, 2016 , ... In honor of National Nurses Week 2016, ... the United States to thank a nurse who's made a difference in their life. ... the American Red Cross of San Diego/Imperial Counties (up to $10,000) every time someone ...
(Date:5/5/2016)... Boston, MA (PRWEB) , ... May 05, 2016 , ... ... stress becomes a constant presence, it can weaken the immune system and increase inflammation, ... Ami B. Bhatt, director of the adult congenital heart disease program at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts ...
(Date:5/5/2016)... PLAINSBORO, N.J. (PRWEB) , ... May 05, 2016 , ... ... on patients with cancer, today announced a new collaboration with Imerman Angels ... of cancer anywhere in the world. , “Imerman Angels provides an emotional lifeline to ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/5/2016)... , May 5, 2016 Research ... PET Imaging in Top 5 EU Markets"  report to their ... This report provides information on the current Positron Emission Tomography ... European Markets (T5 EU), which includes France ... , Spain and the ...
(Date:5/4/2016)...  Compass Diversified Holdings (NYSE: CODI ) ... leading middle market businesses, announced today its consolidated operating ... First Quarter 2016 Highlights , Generated ... "Cash Flow") of $13.6 million for the first quarter ... million for the first quarter of 2016; , ...
(Date:5/4/2016)... Yissum Research Development Company of the ... had signed an exclusive world-wide licensing and research agreement ... degradation and immunomodulatory drugs for cancer and immune dysfunction, ... first-in-class therapy for hematologic and solid malignancies. Financial terms ... novel technology was developed by Yinon Ben-Neriah , ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: