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Found 29 results
  1. News Article
    Women are forced to wait more than five times longer than men for a heart failure diagnosis, a new study has found. Researchers discovered women are 96 per cent more likely to get an incorrect diagnosis of heart failure than men – attributing sharp disparities to such problems being wrongly viewed as “a man’s disease”. The study, conducted by leading heart failure charity the Pumping Marvellous Foundation, found men said they waited an average of just over three and a half weeks to get a formal diagnosis after their first GP visit, but women waited just over 20 weeks instead. Researchers warned such delays were linked to “poorer quality of life, financial losses, mental health issues and avoidable deaths” – adding that health professionals do not give heart failure the same attention and gravity as cancer and other diseases. "One of them [GP] actually said, your symptoms are probably not to do with your heart because you’re young and you’re female. Even though my father had a heart condition," says Sarah, who was diagnosed at the age of 42. Read full story Source: The Independent, 27 August 2020
  2. News Article
    Patients suffering heart attacks during the coronavirus lockdown stayed away from hospitals with some dying as a result, a new study has found. In an analysis of more than 50,000 patients who suffered heart attacks and were treated in 99 NHS hospitals in England both before and after lockdown, researchers found the proportion of deaths for patients with a milder form of heart attack jumped during the first month of lockdown. Those suffering more severe heart attacks actually saw a lower death rate with hospitals keeping their emergency heart services running. Dr Jianhua Wu, associate professor in biostatistics at the University of Leeds and lead author of the study, said: “It has revealed that although patients were able to get access to high levels of care, the study suggests a lot of very ill people were not seeking emergency treatment and that may have been an unintended consequence of the ‘stay at home’ messaging.” Read full story Source: The Independent, 5 August 2020
  3. Content Article
    This article, published by the European Heart Journal, questions whether we have a sufficient fund of knowledge to close the persistent gender gap in IHD and vanquish the Yentl syndrome to history. While increasing knowledge exists regarding pathophysiological mechanistic pathways for ‘female-pattern IHD’, translational studies aimed at developing practical diagnosis and therapeutics with both traditional and novel treatments are needed. Further closure of knowledge gaps related to the paradox and the pathophysiology of IHD in women is one of our highest priorities to improve the health of the 51% of the population that is female and represent currently the majority of deaths.
  4. News Article
    Around 5000 fewer people were admitted to hospitals in England for acute coronary syndrome than expected from January to the end of May this year, an analysis has shown. The results, published in the Lancet, indicate that many patients have missed out on lifesaving treatments during the COVID-19 outbreak. This decline started before the UK lockdown began on 23 March and “was qualitatively similar throughout the country, with only minor variations … in different demographic groups,” the authors wrote. Among patients admitted to hospital with acute myocardial infarction there was a “sustained increase in the proportion ... receiving [a percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) for acute myocardial infarction] on the day of admission and a continued reduction in the median length of stay,” they added. “The reduced number of admissions … is likely to have resulted in increases in out-of-hospital deaths and long-term complications of myocardial infarction and missed opportunities to offer secondary prevention treatment for patients with coronary heart disease,” they concluded. Read full story Source: BMJ, 15 July 2020
  5. News Article
    The postponement of tens of thousands of hospital procedures is putting the lives of people with long-term heart conditions at risk, according to the British Heart Foundation. The coronavirus pandemic has created a backlog which would only get larger as patients waited for care, it said. People with heart disease are at increased risk of serious illness with COVID-19, and some are shielding. The BHF estimates that 28,000 procedures have been delayed in England since the outbreak of coronavirus in the UK. These are planned hospital procedures, including the implanting of pacemakers or stents, widening blocked arteries to the heart, and tests to diagnose heart problems. People now waiting for new appointments would already have been waiting for treatment when the lockdown started, the charity said, as it urged the NHS to support people with heart conditions "in a safe way". Read full story Source: 5 June 2020
  6. News Article
    The coronavirus crisis has led to a sharp rise in the number of seriously ill people dying at home because they are reluctant to call for an ambulance, doctors and paramedics have warned. Minutes of a remote meeting held by London A&E chiefs last week obtained by the Guardian reveal that dozens more people than usual are dying at home of a cardiac arrest – potentially related to coronavirus – each day before ambulance crews can reach them. And as the chair of the Royal College of GPs said that doctors were noticing a spike in the number of people dying at home, paramedics across the country said in interviews that they were attending more calls where patients were dead when they arrived. The minutes also reveal acute concern among senior medics that seriously ill patients are not going to A&E or dialling 999 because they are afraid or do not wish to be a burden. “People don’t want to go near hospital,” the document said. “As a result salvageable conditions are not being treated.” Read full story Source: The Guardian, 16 April 2020
  7. News Article
    Healthcare staff in the West Midlands have been told not to start chest compressions or ventilation in patients who are in cardiac arrest if they have suspected or diagnosed covid-19 unless they are in the emergency department and staff are wearing full personal protective equipment (PPE). The guidance from the University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust says that patients in cardiac arrest outside the emergency department can be given defibrillator treatment if they have a “shockable” rhythm. But if this fails to restart the heart “further resuscitation is futile,” it says. If a patient with suspected covid-19 is in cardiac arrest they should be given cardiac compressions and be ventilated only if they are in the emergency department and the person attending them is wearing aerosol generating procedures (AGP) PPE. That means wearing an FFP3 mask, full gown with long sleeves, gloves, and eye protection. The advice rests on the premise that performing cardiac compressions risks virus particles being released into the air that could infect staff. Read full story Source: BMJ, 29 March 2020
  8. News Article
    The number of heart and lung transplants could quadruple thanks to a "reanimation" machine used in a pioneering operation, a hospital says. The device, developed at Royal Papworth Hospital in Cambridge, managed to pump oxygenated blood into both organs in a world-first procedure. The machine can revitalise deteriorating organs allowing "donation after circulatory death" (DCD). Hospital surgeon Pedro Catarino said it was like "recharging the batteries". "It is reanimation and then it replenishes the energy stores of the heart, what we call reconditioning, which allows it be transplanted," he said. "We think it could at least double and perhaps quadruple the number of [heart and lungs] available for transplant." He said it was desperately needed, adding: "Patients die on the waiting list every day." Read full story Source: BBC News, 23 March 2020
  9. News Article
    MedStar Health launched a new tool that automatically calculates a patient's risk of having a heart attack or stroke within 10 years. The tool enables doctors to more easily show patients their personal risk for heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases over time using easy-to-read graphics. "Seeing their risk on a visual display is more powerful than me telling them their risk,” said Ankit Shah, Director, Sports and Performance Cardiology for the MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute at Union Memorial Hospital in Baltimore. The tool is embedded in MedStar's Cerner electronic health record (EHR), making it easier for physicians to use it during patient visits, health system officials said. The project highlights how MedStar Health National Center for Human Factors focuses on human factor design to improve technology for patients as well as providers. Final rules from the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will make it easier in the future for patients to share their health data with third-party apps. Read full story Source: FierceHealthcare, 9 March 2020
  10. News Article
    There is significant variation in ambulance response times to patients with serious conditions such as suspected strokes or heart attacks, which is not fully explained by how rural an area is, an HSJ analysis has revealed. The exclusive analysis represents the first time ambulance performance for category two calls, which have an 18-minute response time target, have been broken down to clinical commissioning group level. Category two, known as emergency calls, covers a wide range of conditions, including suspected stroke and heart attacks (except cardiac arrests), major burns and epileptic seizures. They account for well over half of ambulance responses. The findings — described as “alarming” by the Stroke Association — lay bare the incredibly long waits which are usually hidden, because average waiting time data is usually published for ambulance trusts, which cover far larger areas than CCGs. Mark MacDonald, Deputy Director of Policy at the Stroke Association, said: “It is alarming to hear that in some cases ambulance staff are taking over an hour to reach patients because when it comes to stroke, being assessed quickly and then, if necessary, transferred to hospital, is really important.” Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 5 March 2020
  11. Content Article
    Following a review of the events that led up to Amy’s death Great Ormond Street Hospital have already made changes to practice: They have improved the way clinical information is shared between different specialist teams, to make sure staff have as comprehensive a picture as possible when making complex decisions about a patient’s treatment. They now use a single log-in electronic patient record system which means staff can quickly access clinical information about a patient and have the right information at the right time, rather than routinely having to use multiple systems. They have improved consultant availability. This means there is more consultant time for each patient being looked after in our paediatric intensive care unit. They have introduced a new process to make sure the care of patients, like Amy, who have both complex spinal and heart conditions is routinely considered by the hospital’s specialist joint cardiology committee.
  12. Content Article
    Key learning points If the patient had been more closely observed it is likely cardio-respiratory arrest and subsequent hypoxic brain injury could have been avoided. Effective procedures for nurse communication, effective handover and observation of critically unwell patients in intensive care and high dependency units are very important to safe patient care. Bedside and remote monitoring equipment provide vital information to staff and should be properly maintained and replaced where necessary.
  13. Content Article
    What will I learn? This report sets out 17 recommendations to improve the way vascular surgery – surgery to repair and restore blood supply to organs and areas of the body – is delivered in the NHS in England. The recommendations focus primarily on the way vascular surgery is organised and delivered, with the central goal of enabling patients to receive urgent surgery sooner. Taken together, they could not only deliver better surgical outcomes for seriously ill patients but also reduce length of stay, cut readmission's and make better use of surgical resources. The report also recommends steps to improve the quality of data gathered around vascular surgery, as a precursor to further long-term change, and identifies opportunities to deliver substantial cost savings on procurement of devices and consumables.
  14. Content Article
    The investigation set out to investigate the removal, retention, and disposal of human tissue and organs at Alder Hey Children’s hospital following hospital post-mortem examinations and, the extent to which the Human Tissue Act 1961 (HTA) had been complied with. It involved examination of the professional practice and management action and systems, including what information, if any, was given to the parents of deceased children relating to organ or tissue removal, retention and disposal.
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