Organizations collaborate to reduce in-hospital heart attack deaths

Twelve hospitals will collaborate to develop strategies to reduce in-hospital heart attack mortality, the Wall Street Journal reports. The hospitals are adding nurses who work in non-cardiac units to rapid-response teams in catheterization labs to quicken care for in-hospital heart attacks, which affect about 10,000 patients per year. Participants include Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, and Sharp Memorial Hospital in San Diego. A University of North Carolina study found 40 percent of in-hospital heart attack patients died before discharge, while only 4 percent of those taken to the emergency room for heart attacks died before discharge, according to the article. It can be difficult to identify heart attack patients in-hospital, as they are often on pain medication that masks their symptoms. "They're higher-risk patients to start with, but they're also getting suboptimal care," Tim Henry, director of cardiology at Cedars Sinai, told the Wall Street Journal. Article