ANCHOR LEAD: HAVING A HEART ATTACK ON THE WEEKEND MY BE DEADLY, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
People who had heart attacks on the weekend were more likely to die than those who had them on weekdays, a recent study reported. Rick Lange, chief of clinical cardiology at Johns Hopkins, says the difference may be due to staffing issues and the availability of procedures on the weekend.
LANGE: According to this study, the major difference between people who were admitted on the weekend and those who were admitted on the weekday was that people who were admitted on the weekday were more likely to have a cardiac catheterization, that is, a procedure early on in their hospitalization. Now the cardiac catheterization is particularly important in people who are having an acute heart attack, at which time they can open the artery up to reestablish blood flow to the heart. This is really the most effective therapy we have if it can be applied quickly. :28
Lange suggests that regional centers be established to manage things like heart attacks. The centers would be fully staffed all the time, so that patients can receive needed procedures in a timely fashion. I’m Elizabeth Tracey reporting.