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RACE: a statewide model of better, faster heart attack care
Date:11/4/2007

ORLANDO, FL A North Carolina team of doctors, nurses, hospitals and emergency medical service workers has come up with a way to provide faster, more effective treatment for heart attack patients.

It doesnt require expensive drugs or fancy new equipment. But it does require competitors to become collaborators, and it calls on everyone involved to move treatment forward empowering emergency services personnel in the field to diagnose a heart attack, something only physicians had done before.

Working as partners, rather than as rivals, the team, led by clinicians at Duke University Medical Center, was able to dramatically slash the time from diagnosis to treatment with potentially life-saving therapies, especially in the area of transfers into and out of smaller, feeder hospitals.

Results of the two-year project, called RACE (Reperfusion of Acute Myocardial Infarction in North Carolina Emergency departments), were presented today at the annual meeting of the American Heart Association.

Heart disease is the number one killer in North Carolina, and this program resulted in patients being treated faster and more effectively with life-saving care, said Dr. Christopher Granger, a cardiologist at Duke University Medical Center and a lead investigator of the project. While several other, smaller, city-wide health systems like Boston and Minneapolis have mounted similar efforts, this is the first to demonstrate dramatic system-wide improvement on a statewide scale. We are so encouraged by the results that we feel the RACE system may be a model for change throughout the rest of the country.

There are three times as many deaths from heart attacks as there are from car accidents, said Dr. James Jollis, a cardiologist and senior author of the study. But while we have a trauma system to take care of accident victims, we dont have any sort of system to take care of people who suffer heart attacks.

Design of the RA
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Contact: Michelle Gailiun
michelle.gailiun@duke.edu
919-724-5343
Duke University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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