Current Trends in Cardiac Health Care Professor Name University Name Date Current Trends in Cardiac Health Care Disease and dysfunction of the cardiovascular system is the single most common cause of death in adults living in the Western world…
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These factors include changes in mortality rates, the demographic descriptions and medical health background of a “typical” cardiac disease patient, and the types of medical treatment these patients receive. Mortality Rates Patients who are admitted to the hospital for cardiac or cardiovascular disease, including heart attack and stroke, have a mortality rate several times higher than that of general admissions. This is unsurprising, since cardiac disease is much more serious than many conditions that nevertheless require hospitalizations. On the positive side, studies have shown that the mortality rate for patients who are admitted promptly after the beginning of symptoms has been slowly but significantly declining. Statistics show that patients are more likely to admit themselves to the hospital upon signs of an urgent cardiac event; for example, though the number of heart attacks per 1000 persons in California and a decline in hospital admissions in general, there has actually been an increase in hospital admissions for heart attacks (Office of Statewide Planning and Development, 2011). This fits in with the general trend for heart attacks in hospital emergency wards that has been seen since the early 1980s. The rate of heart attack had been dropping steadily from 1980 onward, until about the middle of the 1990s, when a new test had been developed to detect heart attack. Predictably, the statistics then show the rate of heart attacks detected to rise again, but due more to the higher sensitivity of the new test and not to any actual change in the rate of heart attack in the population (Office of Statewide Planning and Development, 2011). Mortality rates for cardiac disease patients are unfortunately also affected by hospital profit and cost of care concerns. Treatment for cardiac disease is becoming a lucrative area of sub-specialization, and many smaller hospitals have begun opening cardiac ICUs and cardiac surgery departments in order to increase their profitability (Ronning, 2007). However, the mortality and adverse event rates for patients admitted to these smaller hospitals is much higher than those of bigger, more experienced hospitals; if the trend continues, a rise in mortality rates could very well occur (Joynt, Orav, & Jha, 2011). The combination of the cutting-edge nature of cardiac care with a doctor who is unfamiliar with the field in general and does not perform many such treatments greatly affects patient outcome. This correlation has been recognized to the point that cardiac surgeons are recommended to perform a minimum number of invasive cardiac surgeries a year, in order to maintain the proper level of training and familiarity with the procedure (Tu, Austin, & Chan, 2001). Patient Demographics and History The picture of the typical heart disease or cardiac disease patient is also showing changes over time. For example, women are becoming an ever-larger percentage of admissions; in Canada by 2004, women made up approximately half of such admissions (Tu, Jackevicius, Lee, & Donovan, 2010). Racial percentages for cardiac-related hospitalizations have also shifted, moving some of the preponderance of patients from the Caucasian segment to other racial groups, though Caucasians still represent the majority of cardiac patients. However, this could be due to the shifting racial proportions of the entire population, and not necessarily due
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