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Study says hospitals speed up heart care

Aug 22, 2011 7:21:00 PM - thestate.com
In a spectacular turnabout, hospitals are treating almost all major heart attack patients within the recommended 90 minutes of arrival, a new study finds. Just five years ago, less than half of them got their clogged arteries opened that fast.

The time it took to treat such patients plunged from a median of 96 minutes in 2005 to only 64 minutes last year, researchers found.

Some hospitals are moving at warp speed: Linda Tisch was treated in a mere 16 minutes after she was stricken while visiting relatives near Yale-New Haven Hospital in Connecticut this month. Emergency responders called ahead to mobilize a team of heart specialists.

Once she arrived, “they had a brief conversation and I went straight into the OR. My family was absolutely flabbergasted,” said Tisch, 58, who went home to Westerly, R.I., two days later.

Tisch wasn't a fluke. The hospital took 26 minutes on another case on Thursday.

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