Heart attack patients treated with primary percutaneous intervention (PCI) at hospitals after hours and on weekends wait longer to receive clot busters and other treatments and have a higher risk of death than those treated during regular hospital hours, researchers at Yale School of Medicine report in the August 17 issue of Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).
The researchers found that while 67.9 percent of heart attack patients were treated during off-hours (weekdays 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. and on weekends), the time from hospital arrival to receiving clot dissolving medications varied from only one minute longer wait for clot busting medications to 21 minutes longer wait for (PCI) therapy.
"The findings suggest that the delayed treatment associated with PCI treatment is associated with a greater mortality risk," said Harlan M. Krumholz, M.D., professor of medicine and public health at Yale School of Medicine. Krumholz is also director of the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program at Yale.
Karen N. Peart | EurekAlert!
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