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 July 28, 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 July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
West Africa Gripped by Deadly Ebola Outbreak

West Africa Gripped by Deadly Ebola Outbreak

AFP (July 28, 2014) The worst-ever outbreak of the deadly Ebola epidemic grips west Africa, killing hundreds. Duration: 00:48 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A national study conducted by the USDA Forest Service found that trees collectively save more than 850 lives on an annual basis. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google's Next Frontier: The Human Body

Google's Next Frontier: The Human Body

Newsy (July 27, 2014) Google is collecting genetic and molecular information to paint a picture of the perfectly healthy human. Video provided by Newsy
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