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Heart Attack

Every year, about one million people suffer a heart attack (acute myocardial infarction or AMI). Heart attack is among the leading causes of hospital admission for Medicare beneficiaries, age 65 and older.

Scientific evidence indicates that the following measures represent the best practices for the treatment of a heart attack. The goal is to achieve 100% on all measures.

These quality measures show some of the standards of care provided, if appropriate, to someone who has experienced a heart attack:

  • Aspirin on arrival to the hospital
  • Aspirin at discharge
  • Thrombolytic agent received within 30 minutes of hospital arrival
  • Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI) received within 90 minutes of hospital arrival
  • Advice to quit smoking

Aspirin at arrival
OLOL exceeds the Joint Commission Benchmark

No patients qualified for this measure during the quarters indicated.

Aspirin has been shown to prevent clotting and to restore blood flow to the heart. Eligible heart attack patients should be given aspirin as soon as possible upon arrival at the hospital.

Why is this important?
The heart is a muscle that gets oxygen through blood vessels. Sometimes blood clots can block these blood vessels and the heart can't get enough oxygen. This can cause a heart attack. Chewing an aspirin as soon as symptoms of a heart attack begin may help reduce the severity of the attack. This chart shows the percent of heart attack patients who were given (or took) aspirin within 24 hours of arrival at the hospital.

Aspirin at discharge
OLOL exceeds the Joint Commission Benchmark

 

Aspirin has been shown to prevent clotting to the heart. To help prevent further heart problems, aspirin should be prescribed for eligible heart attack patients when they leave the hospital.

Why is this important?
Blood clots can block blood vessels. Aspirin can help prevent blood clots from forming. Following a heart attack, continued use of aspirin may help reduce the risk of another heart attack. Aspirin can have side effects like stomach inflammation, bleeding, or allergic reactions. Talk to your healthcare provider before using aspirin on a regular basis to make sure it's safe for you.

PCI Received Within 90 Minutes of Hospital Arrival

 

Heart attack patients receiving Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI) during the hospital stay with a time from hospital arrival to PCI of 90 minutes or less.

Why is this important?
The heart is a muscle that gets oxygen through blood vessels. Sometimes blood clots can block these blood vessels, and the heart can't get enough oxygen. This can cause a heart attack. Percutaneous Coronary Interventions (PCI) are procedures that are among the most effective ways to open blocked blood vessels and help prevent further heart muscle damage. A PCI is performed by a doctor to open the blockage and increase blood flow in blocked blood vessels. Improving blood flow to your heart as quickly as possible lessens the damage to your heart muscle. It also can increase your chances of surviving a heart attack. There are three procedures commonly described by the term PCI. These procedures all involve a catheter (a flexible tube) that is inserted, often through your leg and guided through the blood vessels to the blockage. The three procedures are:

  • Angioplasty - a balloon is inflated to open the blood vessel.
  • Stenting - a small wire tube called a stent is placed in the blood vessel to hold it open.