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.