Faster test to diagnose heart attack

Philadelphia - August 25, 2008

The Hospital of University of Pennsylvania was part of a study to test a new bedside device. It tests a patient's blood for markers (level of cardiac enzymes) that signal heart attack.

Without the new bedside device, nurses have to draw the blood, send it to the lab a then wait. Dr. Judd Hollander of the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania's emergency room said, "If you're at an efficient hospital it's an hour, if you're an inefficient hospital national statistics suggest it may take two to two-and-a-half hours to happen."

But the study led by University of Cincinnati shows the new bedside device delivers results in under 30-minutes 80-percent of the time and within one hour 98-percent of the time.

E.R. nurse Jessica Crowley said the device helps reduce over-crowding in the E.R. because they can discharge patients quicker if the results are normal. She said it also helps patients with results signalling a heart attack. "We can get treatment faster, can get cardiologists involved sooner and hopefully get better outcomes," she said.
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