Wonder mix halves chances of cardiac attack, death
Washington, March 28 (IANS) Paramedics can practically halve a patient's chances of a heart attack or dying by promptly administering a mixture of glucose, insulin and potassium (GIK).
A Tufts Medical Centre study shows patients who received GIK immediately after being diagnosed with acute coronary syndrome, which indicates a heart attack is either in progress or on the way, were 50 percent less likely to have cardiac arrest (the heart suddenly stops beating) or die than those who received a placebo.
Over the first month following the event, patients who received GIK were 40 percent less likely to have cardiac arrest, die or be hospitalised for heart failure.
"When started immediately in the home or on the way to the hospital -- even before the diagnosis is completely established -- GIK appears to reduce the size of heart attacks and to reduce by half the risk of having a cardiac arrest or dying," said Harry P. Selker.
Selker is executive director of the Institute for Clinical Research and Health Policy Studies at Tufts Medical Centre. He led the study with Joni Beshansky, co-principal investigator and project director, according to a Tufts statement.
The effect was even more striking for patients with ST-elevation heart attacks, which involves the complete blockage of coronory artery by a blood clot, requiring immediate treatment. GIK lowered the risk of heart attack or death by 60 percent.
These findings were presented on Tuesday at the American College of Cardiology's 61st Annual Scientific Session.
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