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16/02/2011 - Press release

Having a haemodynamics laboratory almost halves the number of infarction deaths

A study published in the latest edition of Revista Española de Cardiología

Press release from Spanish Society of Cardiology (SEC) 

A study published in the latest edition of Revista Española de Cardiología (REC, Spanish Journal of Cardiology) and carried out by researchers from the IMIM (Hospital del Mar Research Institute) in Barcelona and from the Josep Trueta Hospital in Girona, highlights the importance of increasing the number of haemodynamics laboratories (or coronary catheter rooms) by showing how the opening of one of these laboratories has increased the survival rate of patients who have had a myocardial infarction by approximately 5%, after 30 days following their admission to hospital. This represents a 50% drop in their mortality.

When a centre does not have this room, it usually refers patients to another hospital so they can undergo crucial tests and interventions, such as, heart catheterisation and revascularisation of heart arteries. Apart from a delay in diagnosis, this also involves a risk for the patient and extra expense caused by the urgent, medically-equipped transport needed for transferring the patient. Having a haemodynamics laboratory in hospital facilities tends to increase its use and expand its range of indications, which patients benefit from. For instance, at the Josep Trueta University Hospital in Girona, which was the subject under study, the number of coronary angiograms rose by 35.4% with percutaneous coronary interventions rising by 19.7%. In addition, the time period leading up to the application of these techniques was reduced.

Furthermore, this study analysed the survival of the same patients two years after their admission to hospital. The information obtained also indicates an improvement in survival following the installation of the haemodynamics room. Mortality due to any cause dropped from 12.3% to 7.61%. In the case of heart disease mortality, the figure was also reduced, dropping from 8.29% to 4.78%. This is due to the improved treatment received in the first 30 days, but also in part to better secondary prevention resulting from more intensive treatment with statins, ACE inhibitors (angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors), beta blockers and anti-platelet drugs prescribed when being discharged from hospital.

Dr. Jaume Marrugat, co-author of the study, member of the Spanish Society of Cardiology (SEC, Sociedad Española de Cardiología) and researcher in the IMIM (Hospital del Mar Research Institute) Cardiovascular Epidemiology and Genetics Research Group  in Barcelona affirms that: “the cutting down of the time periods for receiving revascularisation treatment thanks to the installation of the new haemodynamics room, as well as the less restricted use of all diagnostic and therapeutic interventions probably improves the handling of myocardial infarction patients, which results in the observed beneficial effect”.

The study included 1,539 patients aged between 25 and 74 years in two periods, between 1995 and 1997 and between 1999 and 2003, corresponding to the before and after periods of the opening of the catheter laboratory in the hospital in 1998.

Another important piece of information is that the patients in the second period were younger, included a higher number of smokers and had previously been diagnosed with high blood pressure, hypercholesterolemia or non-Q wave myocardial infarction.

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