Early administration of clot-buster drug may improve outcome for heart attack patients

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Drug should be given in ambulance, researcher says

The immediate goal of the treatment of heart attack patients is reperfusion, or the swift opening of the blocked artery and the restoration of blood flow to the heart muscle. Early reperfusion minimizes the extent of heart muscle damage and preserves the pumping function of the heart. Optimal benefit is obtained if reperfusion can be established in the first four to six hours of a heart attack. In a study, researchers found that with a straightforward training program, paramedical personnel can act in conjunction with a medical control physician to effectively screen patients with a suspected heart attack and rapidly initiate treatment. “It’s vitally important to heart attack patients that the blocked artery is reopened as soon as possible to restore blood flow to the heart. The pre-hospital administration of clot-buster drugs by emergency medical system personnel can accelerate this process and may provide these patients with a better chance of recovery,” said the study’s lead author, David A. Morrow, of Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School.