Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New way to abate heart attacks before patients get to the hospital

Date:
March 27, 2012
Source:
American College of Cardiology
Summary:
Paramedics can reduce someone's chances of having a cardiac arrest or dying by 50 percent by immediately administering a mixture of glucose, insulin and potassium to people having a heart attack, according to new research.

Paramedics can reduce someone's chances of having a cardiac arrest or dying by 50 percent by immediately administering a mixture of glucose, insulin and potassium ("GIK") to people having a heart attack, according to research presented March 27 at the American College of Cardiology's 61st Annual Scientific Session.

The study showed that patients who received GIK immediately after being diagnosed with acute coronary syndrome -- which indicates a heart attack is either in progress or on the way -- were 50 percent less likely to have cardiac arrest (a condition in which the heart suddenly stops beating) or die than those who received a placebo, although the treatment did not prevent the heart attack from occurring. Over the first month following the event, patients who received GIK were 40 percent less likely to have cardiac arrest, die or be hospitalized for heart failure.

The effect was even more striking for patients with ST-elevation heart attacks, which require immediate treatment. For those patients, immediate GIK was associated with a 60 percent reduction in cardiac arrest or death.

"When started immediately in the home or on the way to the hospital -- even before the diagnosis is completely established -- GIK appears to reduce the size of heart attacks and to reduce by half the risk of having a cardiac arrest or dying," said Harry P. Selker, MD, MSPH, executive director of the Institute for Clinical Research and Health Policy Studies at Tufts Medical Center, who led the study with Joni Beshansky, RN, MPH, co-principal investigator and project director. "Acute coronary syndromes represent the largest cause of death in this country. GIK is a very inexpensive treatment that appears to have promise in reducing those deaths and morbidity."

The cost of the treatment is about $50.

"Because the trial is the first to show GIK is effective when used by paramedics in real-world community settings, it could have important implications for the treatment of heart attacks," Dr. Selker said. Previous clinical trials have shown no consistent effect, likely because the GIK was given too late to help. This study, the "IMMEDIATE Trial," was the first to test the effectiveness of administering GIK at the very first signs of a threatening heart attack, in the community, rather than waiting hours until the diagnosis was well-established at a hospital, as done in previous clinical trials.

"We wanted to do something that is effective and can be used anywhere," said Dr. Selker. "We've done a lot of studies of acute cardiac care in emergency departments and hospitals, but more people die of heart attacks outside the hospital than inside the hospital. Hundreds of thousands of people per year are dying out in the community; we wanted to direct our attention to those patients."

The researchers trained paramedics in 36 Emergency Medical Services systems in 13 cities across the country to administer GIK after determining that a patient was likely having a threatened or already established heart attack using electrocardiograph-based ACI-TIPI (acute cardiac ischemia time-insensitive predictive instrument) and thrombolytic predictive instrument decision support that prints patient-specific predictions on the top of an electrocardiogram. The paramedics used these predictions to decide if a patient would likely benefit from treatment. There were 911 patients randomized to receive either the GIK treatment or a placebo.

Administering GIK immediately also reduced the severity of the damage to the heart tissue from the heart attack. On average, 2 percent of the heart tissue was destroyed by the heart attack in people receiving GIK, compared with 10 percent in those who received the placebo. Although a significant proportion of suspected heart attacks are later determined to be false alarms (23 percent in this study), administering GIK does not appear to cause any harmful effects in such patients.

The research team will follow up with study participants at six and 12 months to evaluate the longer-term benefit of the GIK treatment.

This study was funded by the NIH's National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American College of Cardiology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American College of Cardiology. "New way to abate heart attacks before patients get to the hospital." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 March 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120327124354.htm>.
American College of Cardiology. (2012, March 27). New way to abate heart attacks before patients get to the hospital. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 3, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120327124354.htm
American College of Cardiology. "New way to abate heart attacks before patients get to the hospital." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120327124354.htm (accessed September 3, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Snack Attack: Study Says Action Movies Make You Snack More

Snack Attack: Study Says Action Movies Make You Snack More

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) You're more likely to gain weight while watching action flicks than you are watching other types of programming, says a new study published in JAMA. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) The U.N. says the problem is two-fold — quarantine zones and travel restrictions are limiting the movement of both people and food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctors Fear They're Losing Battle Against Ebola

Doctors Fear They're Losing Battle Against Ebola

AP (Sep. 2, 2014) As a third American missionary is confirmed to have contracted Ebola in Liberia, doctors on the ground in West Africa fear they're losing the battle against the outbreak. (Sept. 2) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tech Giants Bet on 3D Headsets for Gaming, Healthcare

Tech Giants Bet on 3D Headsets for Gaming, Healthcare

AFP (Sep. 2, 2014) When Facebook acquired the virtual reality hardware developer Oculus VR in March for $2 billion, CEO Mark Zuckerberg hailed the firm's technology as "a new communication platform." Duration: 02:24 Video provided by AFP
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:
from the past week

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