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Increase in heart attack patients receiving angioplasty

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The number of patients in England receiving primary angioplasty instead of thrombolysis, following myocardial infarction, has increased significantly over the last year, according to latest findings.

A total of 4,472 patients were treated with primary angioplasty in England in 2007-2008, an increase of 42% from the previous year’s total of 3,148, according to the Myocardial Ischaemia National Audit Project (MINAP) report.

The number of cases in Wales has also increased – by 20%, but only from 44 patients in 2006-2007 to 53 in 2007-2008.

Overall 54 hospitals in England now carry out the procedure. But seven out of 30 English cardiac networks have ‘very restricted access’ to primary angioplasty services, treating less than 10 cases in 2007-2008, and only two hospitals in Wales carry out the procedure.

June Davison, cardiac nurse at the British Heart Foundation, said that inequalities in treatment need to be addressed.

‘We are very pleased with the results of the audit, as they show that people suffering a heart attack are receiving good, quick treatment,’ she said. ‘However, it appears that people in Wales are less likely to have access to the best quality treatment.’

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