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WhatsApp Use by Argentina Ambulances Associated with Faster Heart Attack Treatment

WhatsApp use by ambulance doctors in Argentina was associated with faster treatment of heart attack and lower mortality in an observational study presented today at the Argentine Congress of Cardiology (SAC 2017). The free messaging application was used to send diagnostic electrocardiograms (ECGs) directly to hospital catheterisation (cath) laboratories, enabling patients to bypass the emergency department.

The annual congress of the Argentine Society of Cardiology is being held in Buenos Aires from 19 to 21 October. Experts from the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) will present a special programme.1

“More than 42 000 heart attacks occur in Argentina every year,” said first author Dr Nicolás Lalor, cardiologist, Cardiovascular Institute of Buenos Aires - Sanatorio Anchorena, Argentina. “The mortality rate from ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) has declined in recent years but is still 8–12%.”

“Patients have the best chance of survival when they receive primary angioplasty to restore blood flow to blocked arteries within 90 minutes of contacting the health service,” he continued. “Numerous delays can occur before and after patients reach the hospital which lead to this treatment target being missed.”

Read more at European Society of Cardiology

Photo credit: Alakasam. via Wikimedia Commons

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This project has received funding from the European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement n [310187].