Program reduces heart disease risk

The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute in Bethesda, MD, recently released a report titled Educational Strategies to Prevent Prehospital Delay in Patients at High Risk for Acute Myocardial Infarction (AMI). The report identifies predictors of patient delay in treatment, emphasizes essential points to be covered with high-risk patients, and discusses counseling opportunities in the clinical setting.

The report also includes practical tools for use by clinicians. Those tools include:

· a reproducible patient advisory form;

· a telephone triage algorithm for medical office settings and clinics;

· a high-risk patient action plan.

The education program aims to reduce death and disability from acute cardiac ischemia, including heart attacks, through faster identification, treatment, and education of cardiac patients. Educational messages to high-risk patients include three essential components: information, emotional issues, and social factors.

Free copies of the report are available from NHLBI. Request publication #97-3787F. To order, write: NHLBI Information Center, National Heart Attack Alert Program, P.O. Box 30105, Bethesda, MD 20824-0105. Telephone: (301) 251-1222. Fax: (301) 251-1223. The full report can be downloaded from the NHLBI Web site at http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/nhlbi/cardio/heart/prof/hattkhc.htm.