24 hour heart attack service at Alicante General Hospital

PEOPLE who suffer from heart attacks in the province may be safer if this occurs near Alicante General Hospital.

This follows a revelation it is the only hospital in Alicante Province capable of carrying out the procedure to insert catheters for heart attack victims around the clock, according to Spanish Cardiology Association.

Other health centres only offer this service between 8am and 3pm.

“A heart attack can occur at any time of the day, so it is illogical that the service is not available at some centres in the afternoons, evenings and weekends,” said Dr Antonio Fernandez from the association. A lack of staff to cover these extra hours seems to cause of the current situation.

“Catheterization is the treatment recommended for heart attacks as it destroys the clot and implants a metal mesh to resolve the tightness in the artery,” said Dr Fernandez. “For a person to survive a heart attack it is essential that their waiting time for treatment not exceed 90 minutes.”

The Department of Health responded to this plea for change by stating that “things have always been this way”.

“Patients are ensured an operation within 72-hours of a heart attack throughout the Alicante Province,” said Heath Minister Luis Rosado, according to Spanish newspaper  Diario Informacion.

In theory Alicante General Hospital should receive patients from all over the province who have suffered a heart attack, but a lack of resources, especially transportation, prevents such transfers, especially from more remote areas including Denia and Torrevieja, according to hospital sources.

Around 6,500 people are admitted to hospitals in the province having suffered a heart attack, according to data from the National Institute of Statistics.

During 2010, 122 tests were performed per million inhabitants, according to the Spanish Society of Cardiology and experts agree that Alicante is one of the three provinces where the largest number of catherizations are performed.

By Nicole Hallett
[email protected]

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