In Heart Attacks, Faster Treatments Save Lives

<b>In Heart Attacks, Faster Treatments Save Lives</b> (NewsUSA) – Studies show that fast treatment makes patients more likely to survive certain types of heart attacks. According to national guidelines, heart attack patients should go from hospital door to “balloon” treatment within 90 minutes.

In 2005, only half of America’s hospitals managed 90-minute door-to-balloon (D2B) times. To ensure faster treatment for more patients, the American College of Cardiology (ACC), along with 38 partner organizations, started its Door-to-Balloon Alliance to help participating hospitals lower their D2B times.

The program recently achieved its original ambition — 75 percent of patients now receive treatment within 90 minutes of entering a hospital. A more recent analysis showed that, with an average D2B time of 80 minutes, hospitals participating in the program surpassed its goals.

“This ambitious effort to improve timeliness of heart attack care has reported marked improvements with the vast majority of patients receiving life-saving care within 90 minutes of hospital arrival, as recommended by clinical guidelines,” said Elizabeth H. Bradley, Ph.D., professor at Yale School of Public Health, and lead author of the study.

Hospitals adopted several strategies to reduce D2B times, including creating real-time feedback between emergency departments and cardiologists, encouraging senior management to commit to the cause and creating a team-based approach to patient care.

“The incredible success of the Door-to-Balloon Alliance represents aspects of the best of healthcare delivery in the United States; the integration of the highest medical science, technology and our medical community through the organization and integration of systems of care leading to seamless translation of evidence based medicine into clinical practice,” said Ralph Brindis, M.D., president-elect of the ACC. “The ACC and the National Cardiovascular Data Registry (NCDR) are proud to have played a role in this key accomplishment for our nation.”

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En los Infartos, los Tratamientos Rápidos Salvan Vidas

<b>En los Infartos, los Tratamientos Rápidos Salvan Vidas</b>“></td>
<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Los estudios muestran que los tratamientos rápidos hacen que el paciente tenga mayores probabilidades de sobrevivir a ciertos infartos. Según las directrices nacionales, los pacientes con ataques al corazón deberían ir de la puerta del hospital al tratamiento de balón inflable en un lapso de 90 minutos.

En el 2005, tan solo la mitad de los hospitales en estados unidos manejaban los 90 minutos de tiempo de la puerta a balón inflable (D2B). Para asegurar tratamientos más rápidos a más pacientes, la American College of Cardiology (ACC), junto con 38 organizaciones socias, iniciaron la alianza de “Puerta a Balón Inflable” para ayudar a los hospitales a disminuir su tiempo D2B.

El programa recientemente logró su ambición original – 75 por ciento de los pacientes ya reciben tratamiento dentro de 90 minutos de haber entrado al hospital. Un análisis más reciente muestra que, con un aproximado de 80 minutos, los hospitales participando en el programa sobrepasaron sus metas.

“Este esfuerzo ambicioso de mejorar las oportunidades en el cuidado de ataques del corazón ha reportado mejoras marcadas con la gran mayoría de los pacientes recibiendo cuidados para salvar vidas dentro de 90 minutos de la llegada al hospital según lo recomendado por las directrices clínicas,” dijo Elizabeth H. Bradley, Ph.D., profesora en la Escuela de Salud Publica de Yale, y autora principal del estudio.

Los hospitales adoptaron varias estrategias para reducir el tiempo D2B, incluyendo la creación de información en tiempo real entre los departamentos de emergencia y los cardiólogos, alentando a la alta dirección a comprometerse a la causa y a crear un acercamiento de equipo basado en el cuidado del paciente.

“El increíble éxito de la alianza puertas a balón inflable representa aspectos de lo mejor de la entrega del cuido de la salud en los Estados Unidos; la integración de la mayor ciencia médica, tecnología y nuestra comunidad médica por medio de la organización e integración de sistemas de atención principal a la traducción perfecta de medicina basada en evidencia a la práctica clínica,” dice Ralph Brindis, M.D., presidente-electo del ACC. “El ACC y el Registro Nacional de Datos Cardiovasculares (NCDR) se enorgullecen de haber jugado un papel en este cumplimiento clave para nuestra nación.”

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America Faces Cardiologist Shortage

<b>America Faces Cardiologist Shortage</b>“></td>
<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Heart disease remains the number-one killer in the United States. There is no shortage of patients needing cardiologists — and yet there aren’t enough doctors to go around.

According to a new report released by the American College of Cardiology (ACC), the number of practicing cardiologists will need to double between 2000 and 2050 to accommodate aging baby boomers, and a growing population of heart disease patients.

“We have a significant shortage of 3,000 cardiologists in the workplace today, and all indicators are that it’s going to get worse if we don’t do something,” said George P. Rodgers, M.D., F.A.C.C., chair of the ACC Board of Trustees Workforce Task Force.

The ongoing obesity epidemic and new treatments, which allow patients to live longer with heart disease, are increasing the demand for cardiologists. At the same time, more than 40 percent of cardiologists in the current workforce are over the age of 55, and nearing retirement.

Training opportunities for cardiologists are limited — in the 1990s, policymakers wrongly assumed that family practitioners would treat heart disease, resulting in a 25 percent cut in the number of cardiologist training spots. While other medical fields have a growing number of women and minorities, they remain underrepresented in cardiology. African Americans and Hispanics form only 6 percent of all cardiologists, women only 12 percent.

In its report, the ACC recommends solutions, including expanding the number of fellowship positions, reducing known factors that may encourage early retirement and creating incentives for underrepresented minorities to consider cardiology, as well as encouraging a team-based approach to cardiology care that leverages the skills and expertise of nurse practitioners and physician assistants.

“We need to advocate for more training spots and funding for cardiovascular specialists and, in the meantime, find creative and more effective ways of delivering care,” said Alfred A. Bove, M.D., F.A.C.C., president of the ACC. “Team-based care is a major opportunity for improving the current and future workforce crisis.”

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Prevention is the Best Cure for Heart Disease

<b>Prevention is the Best Cure for Heart Disease </b>“></td>
<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – In America, heart disease kills someone every 35 seconds, making it the nation’s leading cause of death. And while medical technologies like advanced testing methods, surgeries, pacemakers and transplants do help save lives, the best “cure” for heart disease lies in its prevention.

Cardiologists can detect the earliest signs of heart disease, like high blood pressure or high cholesterol levels. Cardiologists can help patients change their lives before full-blown heart disease develops, but many people don’t seek treatment until they suffer permanent damage.

When should patients see cardiologists? Risk factors for heart disease include poor diet, diabetes, inactivity, stress, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking and heredity. People with any of these risk factors should speak to a cardiologist, because early treatment can prevent future problems. Patients experiencing cardiovascular symptoms, like dizziness, strange pains in areas adjacent to the chest, chest pain or shortness of breath should dial 9-1-1 immediately.

Smoking, a high-risk behavior, makes patients two to four times more likely to develop heart disease. Other contributors, like physical inactivity and obesity, can be addressed through lifestyle and diet changes, while high blood pressure can be treated by your doctor.

The American College of Cardiology (ACC), a nonprofit organization that advocates for quality cardiovascular care, tells people to practice prevention every day.

To help heart patients, the ACC created an innovative Web site, The site doesn’t just offer advice for Americans struggling with heart disease, but also teaches patients to evaluate their risk and preserve or improve their heart health.

Users can speak with cardiologists via an interactive forum, connect with heart disease patients and see the latest research regarding specific conditions.

The ACC has also recently published a book, Slay the Giant, that explains how to prevent heart disease in an engaging, easy-to-read manner. “CardioSmart and Slay the Giant offer explanations for just about everything needed to understand heart health and heart disease,” says Dr. Alfred A. Bove, M.D., F.A.C.C., the President-Elect for the ACC, “With a strong emphasis on prevention of coronary disease and poignant directives on how to reduce heart disease risk, these are priceless tools for everyone who wants to avoid the ravages of coronary disease.”

To learn more about heart disease prevention or the book “Slay the Giant,” go to