Missed Your Cardiologist? It Probably Saved Your Life

According to a new research published in the online journal, JAMA Internal Medicine, it might be better if patients who suffered from acute myocardial infarction opted to go or are taken to a teaching hospital when the cardiologists are away.

In the study that spanned over 9 years, 8,570 patients were observed who were admitted to the hospital for acute intervention of heart attack. All of these patients were treated during two of the biggest cardiology conventions, when all the cardiologists were busy attending these meetings.

The fact that a huge amount of cardiologists were absent and did not intervene proved to be a miracle for some people who actually required most care and were the considered to be most unwell. These people did not receive any prompt intervention and there did not seem to be any increase in death rate.

There was an enormous difference in the mortality rates of the 57,471 patients who had been admitted the week before from those who had been treated during the annual meetings.

Dr. Anupam Jena who is a part of the Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, observed this. “That’s a tremendous reduction in mortality, better than most of the medical interventions that exist to treat these conditions,” he said.

These findings proved that high risk intervention may actually harm people than actually heal them. Patients undergoing angioplasties, balloon pumps or ventricular assists were at a higher risk than those who did not receive these treatments.

Dr. Jena explained, why this may be so. He said, “One explanation for these findings is that the intensity of care provided during meeting dates is lower and that for high-risk patients with cardiovascular disease, the harms of this care may unexpectedly outweigh the benefit.”

Although this study is paradoxical in its findings, there is some truth in it. For cardiac patients, it might be better to choose wisely where they want to go. According to this study mortality rates were almost 10 percent lower in teaching hospitals when compared with other hospitals for the same weeks. And most often this is in part due to reluctance to use invasive procedures.


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