Does Australia need more catheterisation laboratories to treat heart attack?

Peter L Thompson
Med J Aust 2021; 214 (7): . || doi: 10.5694/mja2.50994
Published online: 19 April 2021

Patients receive similar treatment and have similar outcomes whether their initial hospital has cardiac catheterisation facilities or not

That early reperfusion in a cardiac catheterisation laboratory (“cath lab”) can preserve heart muscle in patients with ST‐elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) is universally accepted,1 as captured in the “time is muscle” mantra. The reperfusion era for patients with STEMI has delivered better outcomes and reduced the number of deaths.2 Debate about whether to achieve reperfusion by lytic therapy or percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) has also been settled, with agreement that PCI is preferable when available.3

  • Peter L Thompson

  • Heart Research Institute, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, Perth, WA

Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.


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