Sunday, 6 January 2008

Heart Attacks

Imagine if you were in hospital and you had a heart attack, you would think that you were in pretty good hands, wouldn't you ?? Well, the bad news is that according to the New England Journal of Medicine, hospital staffs do not respond quickly enough, which increases the risk of brain damage and death, and may contribute to the deaths of thousands of Americans every year. This occurs in about 30% of cases in the USA.

The problem is that you need a defibrillator and you need it quick if you have a heart attack - so quick that it has to be within TWO minutes - that way you have a 40% chance of surviving.

But very often in hospitals, especially at weekends and at night, staff will not get to the patient that quickly!

The New England Medical Journal study which looked at 6,789 cardiac arrest cases at 369 hospitals, showed that hospital staffs took longer than two minutes nearly one-third of the time.

But defibrillators are easily available at airports and other places and the chances of surviving a heart attack there in those awfully crowded places are higher than in a hospital !

The report recommends that staff at hospitals should be familiar with the emergency drill so that they can act real fast and also that the equipment there should be kept up to-date.


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