Around 33,000 heart attack deaths in a ten year period were preventable if existing guidelines were adhered to, according to research commissioned by the British Heart Foundation [BHF].
Using medical records and patient data, researchers found that 87% of patients who suffered from the most common heart attack type, a NSTEMI attack, were not being treated using the full guidelines.
Dr Chris Gale, of the Leeds institute of Cardiovascular and Metabolic Medicine, led the research.
He said: “What we’ve highlighted here is the unacceptable deficit in the care being given to people after they’ve had an NSTEMI heart attack.”
The research found that at least one of 13 recommended guidelines were not followed with NSTEMI patients, where blood flow to the heart is limited rather than halted.
This included advice to help to stop smoking and the prescription certain drugs.
Dr Gale continued to say that around one patient a month per hospital was losing their life due to the guidelines not being followed.
He added: “The good news is that now we’ve identified the problem, we can certainly fix it.
“Simple interventions, such as prescribing statins, are being missed and this is resulting in loss of life.”
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