ER overcrowding doesn't influence heart patient care, study finds

Contrary to recent reports, a crowded emergency room may not slow down care for heart attack patients, concludes a new study in the Annals of Emergency Medicine. Researchers at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, Ill., found that the 210 heart attack patients at their suburban hospital received emergency angioplasty within an average of 65 minutes after arrival, less than the recommended 90 minutes. According to the study, the wait time for emergency care did not significantly change with increasing occupancy. Study abstract