Heart-attack patients waited longer for two common hospital treatments on weekends and nights than during regular weekday hours, and in the case of one type of treatment -- percutaneous coronary interventions -- the delay was associated with a 7% greater likelihood of dying when the data was risk-adjusted, according to a new study. The delay in the second treatment, clot-busting drugs, was not statistically significant. Researchers traced much of the lag in receiving percutaneous coronary interventions to a longer wait between the time electrocardiogram results were available and when the patient arrived in a cardiac catheterization laboratory: 69.8 minutes during off hours, compared with 49.1 minutes during regular hours. The study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Read the abstract. -- by Joseph Conn
Slower care, more deaths for off-hour heart attacks
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