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Saturday 22nd October 2016

Heart attack victims lack ongoing rehab

24th August 2009

A survey by the British Heart Foundation has revealed that many cardiac patients are not given appropriate rehabilitation.

heart surgery

The audit of cardiac services in England, Wales and Northern Ireland showed that 38% of 138,000 patients were given the care in 2008.

The survey said that this percentage was considerably below the goverment's target figure of 85%.

Cardiac rehabilitation can include diet advice, physiotherapy and psychological treatment, and aims to improve survival rates following heart surgery.

Patients who receive rehab treatment can increase their survival rates over five years by more than 25%.

51,000 patients had rehab treatment in 2008, but 19,000 patients who were given a referral did not use the services.

Although this was mainly because the patients were not well enough to take part, the BHF said there were issues with the way hospitals referred people to rehab services.

Dr Mike Knapton, associate medical director at the BHF, said: "The audit shows that progress on making this life-saving service available to patients is flat-lining."

"Recovery from a heart attack isn't over when a patient leaves hospital and heart patients should be receiving the ongoing support they need. Referral to cardiac rehabilitation should be a routine part of treating heart patients, and until this happens they will continue to miss out."


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