KUALA LUMPUR: One out of five Malaysians who experience a heart attack dies before receiving treatment from the hospital, said National Heart Institute (IJN) chief clinical officer Datuk Dr Rosli Mohd Ali.
He said every minute of delay of proper medical treatment could cause permanent heart damage to the patients or could lead to death.
“An estimated 20% to 25% of patients in Malaysia die from heart attacks if they do not come early for treatment in hospitals.
When they experience chest pain, they should just come to the hospital to have a check-up,” he told reporters yesterday at a roundtable session on early intervention.
Dr Rosli also noted that a majority of victims would come an average of four hours late to the hospital when they experienced heart complication or discomfort.
“The longer the delay, the higher the risk a person faces. We also found that heart attack cases in the country occur almost 10 years earlier in age than those in the United States,” he said.
Dr Rosli said IJN was currently working with five hospitals around Kuala Lumpur and the Klang Valley as a pilot project that provides swift diagnosis on whether the patient is having a STEMI (ST segment elevation myocardial infarction), in which the patient would immediately be sent to the catheterisation lab for an angioplasty, a procedure where the blocked artery is opened with a balloon-like device.
“We have identified the hospitals and after diagnosing the patients, they will immediately alert us to give them the appropriate treatment.
“Undergoing angioplasty surgery is still considered a safe and effective way in treating heart attacks,” he said.
To improve STEMI’s success and meet the mandated door-to-balloon guideline, he said the process must be efficiently managed to further reduce the risk of patients having heart complications.
A forum on the world’s largest STEMI gathering, to be held from Jan 8 to Jan 10 in Bangkok and organised by Lumen Foundation, will be attended by world experts in the field.
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