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YAS Beats Target for Heart Attack Treatment

12 July 2007

12 July 2007

John Darley - Operations Director for Yorkshire Ambulance Service (YAS) - said:

"Where patients have suffered a heart attack it is essential to get them treatment as soon as possible, whether this is delivered by the ambulance service paramedics (pre-hospital thrombolysis) or by a specialist hospital within 60 minutes (the 'golden hour').

"YAS is delighted to have beaten the target for the number of patients who receive thrombolytic treatment within 60 minutes of calling for help during 2006/2007. The figure of 70% for YAS in the MINAP Report (see notes to editors 1) reflects the excellent work staff have put in over the past year and the training that has taken place for paramedics in delivering pre-hospital thrombolysis. We are just one of three services across the country to reach or beat the target of 68%.

"YAS continues to train more paramedics in the delivery of pre-hospital thrombolysis. This will significantly improve our capability for delivering thrombolytic treatment through our paramedics, which will increase the percentage of patients who have the life-saving treatment within 60 minutes."

Notes to Editors:

1. The Myocardial Infarction National Audit Project (MINAP) was established in 1999 to allow hospitals to measure their performance against national standards and targets for the care of heart attack patients using common definitions. Initially the project only assessed the hospital management of patients with heart attacks suitable for thrombolytic treatment or primary angioplasty, but is increasingly examining care for other acute coronary syndromes. MINAP uses a highly secure electronic system of data entry, transmission and analysis developed by the Central Cardiac Audit Database. The continuous collection and publication of data enables comparison of performance across the NHS and monitors the improvement in care for people who have suffered a heart attack. Measuring performance identifies areas where care can be improved.

2. Thrombolytic treatment within 60 minutes of calling for professional help (call to needle) - This standard reflects the combined performance of the ambulance service, GPs and hospitals and is the most relevant overall indicator of care of heart attack patients. It encourages collaborative working across all relevant NHS organisations, particularly between ambulance services and hospitals to reduce delays to thrombolytic treatment. The call for professional help will usually be direct to the ambulance service but may be to a GP or NHS Direct.

3. Thrombolytic treatment  - The outcome for certain types of heart attack can be improved by using clot-dissolving (thrombolytic) drugs. Thrombolytic treatment is effective up to about 12 hours after the onset of symptoms but is most effective when given very early after the symptoms started.

Produced By: Corporate Communications Department