On Air Now
Heart's Feel Good Weekend with Lilah Parsons 10pm - 1am
13 September 2011, 05:00 | Updated: 13 September 2011, 09:24
The cardiac team at the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading are some of the fastest at responding to heart attack patients, which they say makes them among the fastest in the world.
Dr Will Orr is at cardiologist at the hospital, part of the team that's on call 24/7 to treat patients with primary angioplasty.
It's a procedure that involves treatment while the heart attack is still ongoing.
Doctors inflate a small balloon into the clogged artery to relieve the pressure.
Then a small shunt is placed there to keep the artery inflated and prevent further attacks.
They treat between 200 and 250 heart attack patients on average a year and this year have managed to beat the national target in treatment times.
Nationally, teams try to treat 75% of patients within 150 minutes of the ambulance being called, at the Royal Berkshire Hospital the cardiac team are doing this for 95% of patients.
Dr Orr told us if they're among the fastest in the country, they're probably among the fastest in the world:
"We now have the most comprehensive national cover for primary angioplasty anywhere in the world, and we also have the best times in the world.
"So its not too much of a stretch perhaps to say that in Reading patients are just about getting the best treatment in the world for heart attacks."
Recovery times are also much quicker, with older style treatments, patients could be in hospital for up to a week.
Now, most are discharged after 48 hours.