A study which has been summarised in the Lancet, has been comparing the quality of care and outcomes for heart patients in the UK and Sweden between 2004 and 2010 and has concluded that thousands of heart attack victims could have been saved if the UK had adopted similar treatment methods to Sweden.
The study concludes that more than 11,000 lives could have been saved if the UK had adopted similar technology sooner. The researchers, from Sweden and the UK, compared data on the treatment of almost 120,000 patients in hospitals in Sweden and more than 390,000 in the UK over the seven year period.
The main reason for the difference was found to be Sweden’s pattern of introducing new technologies, such as developments in angioplasty treatments for blocked or narrowed arteries, faster.
In addition, Swedish doctors were more likely to prescribe the recommended treatments, such as beta blockers, when patients were discharged.