News Roundup [abridged Versions Appear In The Paper Journal]

Angioplasty better than thrombolytics after heart attack

BMJ 2002; 324 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.324.7344.996/a (Published 27 April 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;324:996
  1. Deborah Josefson
  1. Nebraska

    Primary coronary artery angioplasty, which is known to be superior to thrombolytic therapy in restoring blood flow to an ischaemic heart, can be safely implemented in hospitals that lack pre-existing angioplasty programmes and on-site cardiac surgery departments, a new study has found.

    The report further suggests that treatment of acute myocardial infarction should be re-organised according to a trauma care model so that patients who have had a heart attack are preferentially directed to a facility where angioplasty is available (JAMA 2002;287:1943-51).

    Although about 1.2 million Americans a year have heart attacks, 66% of them do not have access to hospitals that perform coronary angioplasty. Most community hospitals in the United States do not offer angioplasty despite the availability of trained interventional cardiologists and cardiac catheterisation facilities on-site, because in 1993 both the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association advised against the performance of …

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