By Gwyn Wright via SWNS
People today are twice as likely to survive a heart attack outside the hospital than they were 30 years ago, according to a new study.
Scientists found the survival rate for heart attacks outside the hospital rose to 11 percent during that time.
The whole increase in survival rates was found to have taken place in the late nineties and early noughties.
The researchers say a rise in the number of people who can perform life-saving CPR is likely to be behind the rise in survival rates.
The Swedish team add that ambulance delays help explain why survival rates outside of hospital have stalled in recent years.
The proportion of patients who are relatively easy to resuscitate because their heart stops as a result of acute or chronic coronary artery disease has fallen dramatically in the past few decades.
The fact that hard-to-treat cases, such as cardiac arrest caused by lung disease or heart failure, are becoming more common means successful resuscitation will become harder to achieve in the future.
Men are more likely to survive a heart attack outside hospitals because women are more likely to fall victim to these hard-to-treat types of heart attacks.
In 2020 almost 14 percent of men, compared with eight percent of women, survived outside of a hospital cardiac arrest.
Survival rates for people who had a heart attack inside hospitals rose by 120 percent to reach 35 percent between 2004 and 2020.
Most of that improvement took place after 2010, which the researchers say is due to better skills and resources in healthcare.
For the study, the team analyzed data on 106,296 Swedes who suffered an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest between 1990 and 2020.
They also looked at data on 30,032 Swedes who suffered an in-hospital cardiac arrest between 2004 and 2020.
The study’s corresponding author Araz Rawshani, from the University of Gothenburg, said: “The study indicates that health care, from the emergency measures taken by paramedics to post-resuscitation nursing, is set to face new and daunting challenges in the years ahead, with a patient population who will get increasingly difficult to resuscitate.
“Further improvements in survival call for new ways of training considerably more people in cardiopulmonary resuscitation; maintenance of expertise; and the requisite technical advances to deliver defibrillators earlier.”
Around 1.4 million Brits alive today have had a heart attack, according to the British Heart Foundation.
Three-quarters of heart attacks happen outside hospitals, according to the authors.
The condition is also the most common cause of death for people with diabetes, heart failure and coronary artery disease.
The findings were published in the European Heart Journal.
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