Faster care is not lowering heart attack death rates
Doctors have sped up how quickly they treat heart attack patients, but it's not saving more lives. Hospitals have worked hard to decrease what's known as door-to-balloon time — the period needed to insert a small balloon inside the blocked arteries responsible for heart attacks. That time is a major factor in the way hospitals are assessed for the quality of care they deliver. The assumption is that the shorter that time, the more heart muscle is saved, and the more likely patients are to survive heart attacks.
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