Pre-hospital care 'vital for heart attack victims'

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The Independent Online
NEARLY three-quarters of deaths from heart attacks happen before the patient gets to hospital, specialists will be told today, writes Celia Hall.

A study which monitored all heart attacks in the Brighton area last year showed that half were fatal. Seven out of 10 victims died outside hospital and 80 per cent of these were among 35- to 69-year-olds.

The study also found that 20 per cent of survivors had no warning and did not call for help. Half had no classic heart-attack symptoms, but just felt a little unwell.

Professor Richard Vincent of the Royal Sussex County Hospital, Brighton, said the results strengthened the need for 'emphasis on pre-hospital care' and for ambulances to be fully equipped.

Details of the study will be presented to the British Cardiac Society annual meeting in Torquay beginning today.

Health, page 20