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NHS leads heart attack care

6th July 2006

Treatment for patients with heart attacks in England and Wales is now better than anywhere else in the world and is continuing to improve, according to new figures.

Patients are being given life-saving thrombolytic treatment (clot-dissolving drugs) more quickly than ever, meaning fewer people are dying from heart disease, according to information collected from hospital trusts over the last year.

The fifth report of the Myocardial Infarction National Audit Project (MINAP) includes the following findings;

• 83 per cent of patients in England received thrombolytic treatment within 30 minutes of arriving at hospital, compared with 44 per cent in 2001.

• 28 of the 31 ambulance services in England can now give thrombolytic treatment to patients before they reach hospital; in 2005/6, 2,231 patients received pre-hospital thrombolytic treatment compared with 1,374 in 2004/5.

• 58 per cent of patients in England received thrombolytic treatment within 60 minutes of calling for professional help, compared with only 22 per cent in early 2001.
 
A Department of Health spokesperson said that many NHS organisations are leading the world in the use of this treatment. Almost all ambulance services have trained their paramedics to give thrombolysis before reaching hospital.

The report is available on the Royal College of Physicians website.

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