Lifesaving Heart Attack Treatments Underused

A Dartmouth Medical School study reports that hospitals in many U.S. regions provide only substandard care, resulting in unnecessary deaths and long-term health complications.

Published by the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association, the report argued that many hospitals failed to prescribe highly effective treatments for heart patients, including the prescription of aspirin and beta-blocking drugs, and advising smokers to kick the habit. Study authors hypothesized that failure to prescribe these life-saving treatments might be due to poor training or disagreement with standardized medical guidelines.

“Substantial geographic variation exists in the treatment of patients with acute myocardial infarction, and these gaps between knowledge and practice have important consequences,” read the study.


Reuters - February 17, 1999

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