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Effective Reperfusion for Acute Myocardial Infarction Begins with Effective Health Policy

Thomas H. Lee, MD
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Partners Community HealthCare, Inc., Boston, MA 02199 Requests for Reprints: Thomas H. Lee, MD, Partners Community HealthCare, Inc., Suite 1150, Prudential Tower, 800 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02199. Requests for Reprints: Thomas H. Lee, MD, Partners Community HealthCare, Inc., Suite 1150, Prudential Tower, 800 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02199.


Copyright ©2004 by the American College of Physicians


Ann Intern Med. 1997;126(8):652-653. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-126-8-199704150-00011
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“Time is muscle” is a cute but concise summary of two decades of research demonstrating the value of reperfusion therapy for patients with acute myocardial infarction and the importance of early initiation of treatment. On the basis of this research, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute launched the National Heart Attack Alert Program in 1991. This program promotes the goal of treating acute myocardial infarction within 60 minutes of the onset of symptoms [1] and has helped many hospitals reduce the time between presentation and the initiation of thrombolytic therapy to less than 30 minutes. No evidence, however, suggests that the much longer interval between onset of symptoms and hospital presentation has changed.

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