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Telemonitoring changes the working practice of cardiac nurses
Date:4/8/2009

, a type of heart attack caused by a prolonged period of blocked blood supply, leading to characteristic changes on the electrocardiogram (ECG). Studies have shown that PCI leads to better long-term outcomes for STEMI patients, with lower mortality risk. Fewer strokes and reduced risk of suffering a further heart attack, compared to the traditional 'clot buster' treatment (thrombolysis) that has been the mainstay of hospital heart attack care for the past two decades. In some areas thrombolysis may be given by ambulance staff if travel times to a heart attack centre are likely to be very long, and research is continuing to identify the optimal strategy.

"More and more centres in Europe are offering primary angioplasty for STEMI with the result we're now entering a totally new era for treating heart attacks" says Professor Quinn. " We need to start thinking through the ways we are going to manage this revolutionary change, learning from the experience of countries, such as the Czech Republic ,where PCI has been widely available for several years."

First, he says, there will be strategic challenges for reconfiguring heart attack services. This will involve educating health care planners and purchasers so that they understand the evidence base for both health gains to patients and cost effectiveness. Education will also be needed for emergency staff, paramedics and the public. With a small minority of patients with chest pain actually suffering STEMI, well trained paramedics (in countries where doctors are not available on ambulances) hold the key to identifying STEMI patients rapidly and getting them to the correct facility. Members of the public will need to be educated about the need to call an ambulance quickly if heart attack symptoms occur, and also that travel to specialist heart attack centres, that may be some distance from their home, is safe and can improve outcomes. Realistically such specialist services cannot be provided in every communi
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Contact: ESC Press Office
press@escardio.org
33-049-294-8627
European Society of Cardiology
Source:Eurekalert

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