It’s estimated that more than 250,000 people suffer severe attacks in this country every year. A new study conducted by the American Heart Association found that heart attack patients who go to the hospital at night, on weekends or on holidays have an increased risk of dying compared with heart attack patients who arrive at the hospital during regular business hours.
The study examined the data of heart attack patients from approximately 500 hundred hospitals over a three year period. Researchers looked at more than 43,000 records that included 16,000 heart attack patients who had arrived during business hours and another 27,000 who had arrived during non-business hours.
When a person is suffering a heart attack, there is usually some kind of blockage that is restricting blood flow to the heart. In order to clear that blockage and allow the blood to flow smoothly through the arteries again, doctors will perform an angioplasty on the patient. The quicker a heart attack victim has an angioplasty, the stronger their chances are of surviving the attack, and the less damage may be done to the hear itself.
Researchers determined that for heart attack victims who arrived during business hours, the average time it took to perform an angioplasty was 56 minutes. But for patients who arrived during non-business hours that amount of wait time before the life-saving procedure jumped to 72 minutes.
This study raises critical points regarding the wide difference in the care patients received based on their arrival time at a hospital. But the time of day should a patient has a heart attack should not determine their chances of survival. If you have or a family member has suffered from illness or injury due to medical negligence, contact a Virginia medical malpractice attorney to find out what your legal options may be.