Friday, July 06, 2012

Would Glucose Stop Heart Attack?

Heart attack is something that people cannot take it lightly. If a person having a heart attack does not receive medical care within the shortest period, the person might experience severe damage to heart tissue or in some serious cases, even end up dead. Unfortunately, timely medical help does not always available to save a heart attack victim.

According to the many studies carried out previously on acute cardiac care in emergency departments and hospitals, more people die of heart attack outside the hospital than inside the hospital.

Laboratory studies had suggested that in the setting of cardiac ischemia, immediate intravenous a mixture of glucose, insulin and potassium (GIK) could reduce ischemia-related arrhythmias and myocardial injury. The potential benefit of GIK is supposed to be related to timeliness of administration after cardiac ischemia begins, especially to prevent cardiac arrest. The risk for cardiac arrest is believed to be the highest during the first hour of acute coronary syndromes (ACS).

In order to test out-of hospital emergency medical service (EMS) administration of GIK in the first hours of suspected ACS, researchers from Tufts Medical Center started a study on 911 patients in 13 United States cities, between December 2006 and July 31, 2011 involving trained paramedics, who used electrocardiograph (ECG)-based instruments to determine if a patient was likely having a heart attack.

The findings showed that GIK given to patients showing heart attack symptoms had not reduced their risk of progressing to a heart attack and no improve 30-day survival though GIK was associated with lower rate of cardiac arrests or in-hospital deaths.

Funded by the National Institutes of Health, the study was presented in March 2012 at a meeting of the American College of Cardiology in Chicago, and was subsequently published on May 9, 2012 in ‘The Journal of the American Medical Association’ (JAMA).

Researchers felt that there is a need to carry out further studies to assess out-of-hospital use of GIK as therapy for patients with ACS.

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