Community Hospitals Safe for Angioplasty:
TUESDAY, March 27 (HealthDay News) -- Angioplasty -- a procedure
to open blocked arteries -- can be performed safely and effectively
at community hospitals that don't have on-site cardiac surgery
units, according to a new study.
The study included nearly 19,000 patients who had elective
angioplasty either at a facility with a cardiac surgery unit or at
one of 60 community hospitals that didn't have on-site cardiac
surgery but met certain requirements.
The centers had to complete a formal angioplasty development
program to prepare their staffs and establish policies and
protocols, and also had to demonstrate a capacity to perform at
least 200 angioplasties a year.
The researchers followed the patients for nine months after
their procedures. There was no difference in death rates between
patients who underwent angioplasty at facilities with cardiac
surgery units or at community hospitals, and no significant
differences in rates of complications including bleeding, kidney
failure and stroke.
The study was presented Sunday at the American College of
Cardiology (ACC) annual meeting in Chicago. Research presented at
medical meetings should be viewed as preliminary until published in
a peer-reviewed journal.
"The study shows that under certain circumstances, non-primary angioplasty can be performed safely and effectively at hospitals without on-site cardiac surgery," lead investigator Dr. Thomas Aversano, an associate professor of cardiology at Johns Hopkins University, said in an ACC news release.
Until recently, community hospitals without cardiac surgery
units performed only emergency angioplasties. Patients who required
elective surgery were transferred to facilities with cardiac
surgery units. That changed when new guidelines were introduced by
the ACC and the American Heart Association.
"The study supports and reinforces the [new] guidelines," Aversano said.
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