Royal Berkshire Hospital top for heart attack care

A hospital has been rated top in England and Wales for providing 24-hour care for heart attack patients.

Cardiac staff at the Royal Berkshire Hospital were faster than other units in providing rapid life-saving surgery.

Figures showed that 96% of patients under went a primary angioplasty within 150 minutes of calling 999.

The Myocardial Ischaemia National Audit Project (MINCAP) report looked at how quickly patients were provided with the treatment.

The national average showed that 79% of patients received treatment within 150 minutes of calling for help.

And within 90 minutes of arriving at the Berkshire hospital 94% had undergone the primary angioplasty procedure.

The Royal Berkshire Hospital team's figures for the past year revealed that 96% did within that time - the best for any hospital providing a round-the-clock service.

Dr Will Orr, consultant cardiologist at the Reading-based hospital, said the figures would reassure people.

"What it hopefully that if something catastrophic happened to them, they have got a very good chance of getting the right treatment and getting it very quickly.

"That will maximise their chances of recovering from that and getting back to a normal quality of life."

A primary angioplasty is rapid treatment where the artery is reopened mechanically using a balloon catheter inserted into the blocked artery.

It is the preferred treatment by surgeons if it can be provided promptly.

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