Study Finds Time of Day You have Heart Attack Could Influence Survival

On Behalf of | Sep 11, 2014 | Personal Injury

Does the time of day, week and month a person has a heart attack play a role in whether or not a they survive the attack? According to a new study, it does.

The research, sponsored by the American Heart Association, found that heart attack patients who arrived at the hospital during the night, on weekends or on a holiday had a 13 percent more risk of not surviving the attack compared with patients who arrive at the hospital during regular daytime business hours.

The research team looked at the records of heart attack victims from 447 U.S. hospitals during the years 2007 to 2010. The records consisted of 15,972 heart attack patients who had arrived at hospitals during business hours and 27,270 patients who had arrived during non-business hours.

When a person suffers from coronary heart disease, the arteries become hardened, or even blocked, which reduces the blood flow to the heart. This restriction of blood causes heart attacks. When a person is having a heart attack, the sooner they receive a procedure called an angioplasty, the more likely they are to survive. Angioplasty restores blood flow and reduces the chest pain of an attack. The procedure also minimizes the damage an attack can do to the heart muscle.

The study found that the average time it takes for a heart attack patient to have an angioplasty if they arrive at the hospital during business hours was 56 minutes. But for patients who arrived during non-business hours, the time it took for them to receive the critical procedure spikes to 72 minutes.

In a statement, the lead author of the study, Dr. Jorge Saucedo, said the only way to guarantee that after-hours heart attack patients have less wait times would be to staff hospitals with a 24 hour/7 day per week fully staffed catheterization laboratory. But Dr. Saucedo added, “At this point, we cannot recommend this due to the fact that the human and financial cost could be too high.”

If you or a member of your family has suffered from adverse effects due to the negligence of medical professional, contact an experienced New Braunfels personal injury attorney to find out what legal recourse you may have.