New York: A good hospital will get heart attack victims into an operating room and get their clogged artery open within 90 minutes. But a new study shows that shortening that time even further does not significantly lower the risk of dying in the hospital.The analysis, which measured the so-called door-to-balloon time now widely used to assess the quality of heart attack care, found that shaving additional minutes off the 90-minute goal produced diminishing returns.The results suggest that more attention should be devoted to getting heart attack victims to the hospital sooner for the treatment, usually with a balloon or stent, known as percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI)."Door-to-balloon time is a core measure by which hospitals that do PCI treatment are measured. That core metric is not going to go away based on this study, nor should it," said Dr. Joseph Fredi, an interventional cardiologist at Vanderbilt University Medical Center`s Heart and Vascular Institute in Nashville, Tennessee, who was not involved in the study."I hope people don`t take away from it that we can start relaxing and not have to move heaven and earth to not achieve that metric they way hospitals do now," he told Reuters Health in a telephone interview.In fact, patients who could not get a PCI within 90 minutes died at a rate that was roughly double that of patients who received treatment in 90 minutes or less, according to the report published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
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