Doctors in Australia have set up a new system that can dramatically increase the chance of people living in the country surviving a heart attack, a new study reveals.
The nine-year study, published in the Medical Journal of Australia, reports that the system has helped reduce the number of deaths due to heart attacks by 22 percent among people living in country areas of South Australia. The study added that prior to the setting up of the system, known as the integrated cardiac support network, people living in the country were twice as likely to die from heart attacks as those living in cities.
The network so far covers around 66 rural hospitals in South Australia with some of the major benefits including rapid bedside blood test results, on-call cardiologists who can guide country doctors by telephone and also providing quick decisions on which patients should be flown to a metropolitan hospital.
"We have set up processes so doctors in the country hospitals know exactly what to do. They know who to talk to, what treatments to give. Just because you live in a country area your risk of dying from a heart attack shouldn't by rights be higher than in a city. This is one of the first papers in the world to show this level of outcomes for clinical networks. It's incredibly pleasing to see the results and have the paper published", Dr Philip Tideman, the main driver of the project, said.