NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Lifesaving Effectiveness Of Angioplasty Depends On Hospital

December 27, 2000

Angioplasty may be more effective in saving heart attack patients' lives -- if done in the right hospital, say researchers. According to a report in the Journal of the American Medical Association, based on a study of 62,299 heart attack patients:

  • Agioplasty patients have a better survival rate than those treated with clot-dissolving drugs, but only if the procedure is done in a hospital that specializes in the procedure.
  • Otherwise, patients who had the procedure died at about the same rate as those treated with drugs.

For the hospitals that performed high numbers of angioplasties, the in-hospital death rate was 3.4 percent for agnioplasty patients, compared with 5.4 percent for patients treated with clot-busting drugs.

Source: David J. Magid, et al., "Relation Between Hospital Primary Angioplasty Volume and Mortality for Patients With Acute MI Treated With Primary Angioplasty vs Thrombolytic Therapy," Journal of the American Medical Association, December 27, 2000; Michelle Healy, "Right Setting Aid Heart Attack Treatment," USA Today, December 27, 2000.


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