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Emergency care:

About the author: 

Whatever we may think about the drug companies, we recognize that the doctors who work tirelessly in our emergency wards are heroes

Whatever we may think about the drug companies, we recognize that the doctors who work tirelessly in our emergency wards are heroes. Should we ever forget, countless television series remind us of their life-saving operations.
But a new study has discovered that less could be more, especially if you've had a life-threatening heart attack. It's made the surprising discovery that people who've just had a heart attack fare better if they go to a general hospital than if they're rushed to a high-tech specialist unit.
The study looked at the progress of 28,000 patients who had been taken to either a specialist unit or a general hospital after a heart attack. After just six months 14 per cent more of the patients who had had some high-tech emergency intervention such as a by-pass or catheterization at a specialist unit were dead compared with those who had gone to a general hospital.
And if you're rushed to a specialist unit, they're going to do something to you, the study found. Nearly half underwent some specialist procedure compared with just 3 per cent of those who were taken to a general hospital. They were also twice as likely to have bleeding complications, and a third were more likely to suffer a stroke.
Unfortunately the destination is not determined by the patient or his family, but by the ambulance crew in consultation with doctors. So when you're making the emergency call, ask for an ambulance crew that reads the WDDTY broadcasts.


Heart attacks and stroke:

Proof positive

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