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Wednesday, 21 March 2007

Plan Ahead to Save Lives from Heart Attack, Dracup Tells Australian Audience

Don't think twice, phone the ambulance about heart attack symptoms, UCSF School of Nursing Dean Kathleen Dracup told Australian audiences on March 19, in an interview with host Norman Swan of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's radio show, The Health Report.

Dracup, RN, DNSc, an expert on acute care for cardiac patients, published research in 1997 with Australian colleagues, showing an unusually long delay between the first symptoms of heart attack and the time that Australians — particularly women — make the decision to go to the hospital. Half of study participants waited a life-threatening long time — more than 6-1/2 hours — to call that ambulance. Dracup and Swan discussed a current study she is leading with an international team of nursing researchers, to test interventions that may encourage more individuals to plan ahead for life-saving actions in case symptoms appear. While the results of this research are still being analyzed, Dracup noted one positive preliminary finding: in the past decade, Australians have improved their symptom-to-hospital response time.

Swan recorded interviews with Dracup and several other UCSF experts in February, during a visit to San Francisco in conjunction with the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

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