Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

High-risk Patients Need Better Guidance On What Is And Isn't A Heart Attack

Date:
July 10, 2007
Source:
BMJ-British Medical Journal
Summary:
Varying advice means patients at high-risk of having a heart attack are unclear about when symptoms are potentially life threatening and when they should call an ambulance, argue a group of heart specialists in the British Medical Journal. At least 70 percent of people who die from coronary heart disease have had previous heart problems.

Varying advice means patients at high-risk of having a heart attack are unclear about when symptoms are potentially life threatening and when they should call an ambulance, argue a group of heart specialists in the British Medical Journal, BMJ.

Related Articles


At least 70% of people who die from coronary heart disease have had previous heart problems.

Yet recent data from the British Heart Foundation shows that 40% of the general population would not immediately call an ambulance during a suspected heart attack and the greatest delays in calling 999 are among the high-risk group.

This implies, say Dr Khavandi and colleagues, that high-risk patients do not seem to be receiving clear effective guidance from their doctors.

One of the symptoms of a heart attack is angina. Yet angina can also be a stable condition which lasts only a few minutes and can be controlled by medication. The writers say ideally they would like patients to be able to tell the difference between the two types but in reality they do not.

In particular, high-risk patients with ischaemic heart disease (IHD) - which causes a reduction in the blood supply to the heart, usually felt as angina - are given varying advice from doctors, health organisations and drug manufacturers about how to use the drugs (sublingual nitrate GTN sprays) prescribed to relieve the condition.

The advice also varies on when they should call an ambulance.

The British Heart Foundation advises patients with known IHD to call an ambulance if chest pains last longer than 15 minutes and to use their spray three times during that period.

The American College of Cardiology recommends one spray and 5 minutes before calling an ambulance.

Manufacturer's instructions are sometimes non-specific, for example, recommending no more than 3 doses and 15 minutes between treatments -- leaving it to the prescribing doctor to guide the patient.

Waiting 15 minutes, say the writers, could be too long for some patients. One study has shown that the median time from onset of symptoms to cardiac arrest is ten minutes.

They recommend patients and their relatives should be explicitly primed to recognise high-risk features of chest pain. They advise patients at high-risk or with IHD to carry a GTN spray with them at all times, to take two metered doses immediately if they get chest pain and to wait 5 minutes before calling an ambulance. They advise that patients should not waste time by calling a friend or relative first and should not drive themselves to hospital.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BMJ-British Medical Journal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

BMJ-British Medical Journal. "High-risk Patients Need Better Guidance On What Is And Isn't A Heart Attack." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 July 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/07/070705193639.htm>.
BMJ-British Medical Journal. (2007, July 10). High-risk Patients Need Better Guidance On What Is And Isn't A Heart Attack. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 26, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/07/070705193639.htm
BMJ-British Medical Journal. "High-risk Patients Need Better Guidance On What Is And Isn't A Heart Attack." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/07/070705193639.htm (accessed March 26, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

House Ready to Pass Medicare Doc Bill

House Ready to Pass Medicare Doc Bill

AP (Mar. 26, 2015) In rare bipartisan harmony, congressional leaders pushed a $214 billion bill permanently blocking physician Medicare cuts toward House passage Thursday, moving lawmakers closer to resolving a problem that has plagued them for years. (March 26) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
HIV Outbreak Prompts Public Health Emergency In Indiana

HIV Outbreak Prompts Public Health Emergency In Indiana

Newsy (Mar. 26, 2015) Indiana Gov. Mike Pence says he will bring additional state resources to help stop the epidemic. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Indiana Permits Needle Exchange as HIV Cases Skyrocket

Indiana Permits Needle Exchange as HIV Cases Skyrocket

Reuters - US Online Video (Mar. 26, 2015) Governor Mike Pence declares the recent HIV outbreak in rural Indiana a "public health emergency" and authorizes a short-term needle-exchange program. Rough Cut (no reporter narration) Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
AAA: Distracted Driving a Serious Teen Problem

AAA: Distracted Driving a Serious Teen Problem

AP (Mar. 25, 2015) While distracted driving is not a new problem for teens, new research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety says it&apos;s much more serious than previously thought. (March 25) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins