Research published in the European Heart Journal: Acute Cardiovascular Care has found that heart attack patients have a greater chance of dying after they leave the hospital if they miss even a single element of their after-care.
In the study a CMOC score was calculated for each patient and included: pre-hospital ECG, acute use of aspirin, timely reperfusion, prescription at hospital discharge of aspirin, thienopyridine inhibitor, ACE-inhibitor (or equivalent), HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor and β-blocker, and referral for cardiac rehabilitation.
The researchers from the University of Leeds analyzed links between heart attack survival and these nine components of post-discharge care and found that heart attack patients have a 46% higher chance of dying within a month and a 74% chance of dying within a year of discharge, if any one of these elements of care is missed.
Dr. Chris Gale, an associate professor of Cardiovascular Health Sciences at Leeds and leader of the British Heart Foundation-funded study, said “The tragedy of all this is that these deaths are avoidable. There is a clear relationship between the ability to provide comprehensive and timely care, and treatment and improved chance of heart attack survival.”
He says to maximize the chances of saving lives, it is vitally important that health care professionals are fully aware of and trained in these treatments.
“Many of these guideline recommended steps are straightforward, but for some reason they are not being provided,” he says. “If more components of care are missed, the chance of dying increases further.”