Expansion in the use of Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI) - the minimally invasive surgery performed on heart patients instead of using drugs - is seeing more patients with acute coronary syndromes treated more quickly, according to the latest National Audit of PCI (covering 2012).
PCI mechanically improves blood flow to the heart using stents and can be used to relieve the symptoms of angina, prevent and treat heart attacks. When used to treat heart attack patients, the procedure is called primary PCI.
Commissioned by the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP) as part of the National Clinical Audit Programme, the National Audit of PCI is clinically led by the British Cardiovascular Intervention Society and managed by the National Institute for Cardiovascular Outcomes Research.
Key findings include:
Whilst overall access to PCI and primary PCI has improved there remain large differences between the countries of the United Kingdom.
For overall PCI rates per million population (pmp), Wales has the lowest rates at 1,363 pmp and Northern Ireland the highest (1,917). The PCI activity for England is 1,423. For primary PCI, England had the highest rates at 390 and Northern Ireland the lowest (180). While there are differences, steps have been taken to increase provision in each of the countries. The most noticeable differences was in Wales where the rates of primary PCI increased by over 70% to ensure more patients had access to primary PCI.
The report collected data on 92,445 PCI procedures from 97 NHS PCI centres and 7 private hospitals between January and December 2012.
Peter Ludman, Consultant Cardiologist and Clinical Lead of the national audit said: "One of the key steps to maintaining and improving high quality treatment is measuring what you are doing. It is a great tribute to all PCI centres in the UK that they are dedicated to providing detailed information about the procedures they carry out, so that the information can be collated and analysed at a national level. These data provide considerable insight into the practice of PCI, showing not only how practice is evolving over the years, but also how different units compare with each other and how the UK compares with other countries".
Article adapted by Medical News Today from original press release. Click 'references' tab above for source.
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