Wireless ECG Could Cut Time to Heart Attack Treatment
(HealthDay News) — A new wireless electrocardiogram (ECG) can cut the time it takes for heart attack patients to receive treatment, according to new research being presented at the annual meeting of the American Heart Association, held from Nov. 15 to 19 in Chicago.
Abdurrazzak Gehani, M.D., chief cardiologist at the Heart Hospital in Doha, Qatar, and colleagues examined outcomes among 510 heart attack patients, and found a trans-satellite wireless 12-lead ECG cut the ambulance-to-angioplasty time by more than half an hour compared to standard treatments.
Ambulance crews used the ECG to take a patient's heart readings, which were immediately transmitted via satellite to the hospital so that cardiologists could determine the best treatment method while the patient was on the way. In the study, 55 percent of the patients got wireless ECG and were sent directly to the Heart Hospital in Doha, while 45 percent did not get the wireless ECG and were sent to other hospitals first before arriving at the Heart Hospital.
The time between arrival at the Heart Hospital and the start of angioplasty was about 53 minutes for patients in the wireless ECG group and about 104 minutes for those in the other group, according to the study. The delay from the start of heart attack symptoms to the start of angioplasty was 36 minutes less for patients in the wireless ECG group than for the other group. They also had a lower risk of death while in hospital (2.5 versus 3.5 percent) and shorter hospital stays (3.4 versus 4.3 days).