Hospitals working faster on heart attacks

Oct 10, 2011

Hospitals are now responding quicker to heart troubles, a report says.

In surprising numbers that could lessen the amount of life insurance claims and save lives, hospitals are treating almost all major heart attack patients within the recommended 90 minutes of arrival.

The study, authored by Yale cardiologist Dr. Harlan Krumholz, and published in American Heart Association journal Circulation, shows that it took 64 minutes to treat each patient on average, the AP reports. In 2005, it took a median time of 96 minutes, the report shows.

“Americans who have heart attacks can now be confident that they’re going to be treated rapidly in virtually every hospital of the country,’’ Harlan Krumholz told the Associated Press. Krumholz said the improvement is remarkable, as it happened without money incentives or the threat of punishments. Instead, the government hosted private groups that lead research on how to shorten treatment, the news source reports.

Each year, 250,000 people in the United States and 3 million people worldwide suffer a heart attack. Insure's website said that those who have suffered a heart attack can still get life insurance after they recover, as underwriting criteria varies among life insurance companies. The website said comparison shopping is crucial for finding good rates.

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