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Aug 2014
New £10 blood test that can detect a heart attack in just 30 minutes could save thousands of lives
New £10 blood test that can detect a heart attack in just 30 minutes could save thousands of lives. The ground breaking test has been developed by British scientists. It can detect a heart attack in just 30 minutes and help diagnose patients. Successful trials have already been carried out on patients in the UK. At present, a blood test to detect heart attacks, takes over six hours. Countless lives could be saved by a blood test which costs just £10 by detecting a heart attack in 30 minutes. The groundbreaking test, developed by British scientists, could provide relief to those suffering with chest pains by quickly checking for coronaries. It works by detecting a small protein which is released after a heart attack called H-FABP and could dramatically cut down on wait times and free hospital beds. At present, the blood test to detect a heart attack takes over six hours and the long wait time can lead to the patient suffering from cardiac damage and even death. Dr Rick Body, consultant in Emergency medicine has carried out successful trials of the test at Manchester Royal Infirmary. Dr Body told The Daily Mirror: 'Many patients with chest pain are admitted for hours, even days, for further tests but most don't have a heart problem. ‘With this new test we could bring instant peace of mind to those not suffering a heart attack and prioritise those who are.' According to the NHS, Coronary heart disease is the leading cause of death both in the UK and worldwide. It's responsible for around 74,000 deaths in the UK each year and about 1 in 5 men and 1 in 8 women die from the disease. However, while coronaries can be spotted on an ECG, a blood test to measure a protein called troponin is needed. In the UK, an estimated 2.7 million people live with the condition and 2 million people are affected by angina, which is the most common symptom of coronary heart disease. Coronaries affect men more than women but things change by the age of 50 when the chances of developing the disease become similar for both. When patients visit A&E with chest pains, doctors often recommend that they are admitted to hospital for tests to rule out a heart attack. Yet, while this is the most common reason for hospital admission, most do not actually have a heart attack. It can also go undetected, leaving some patients unwittingly missing vital treatment. But a good indicator of a problem is the protein H-FABP, which shows up when the heart cells are actually being damaged. The new test has been developed by Randox Health in Crumlin, Northern Ireland. Medical director Gary Smyth said that cardiac tests are not currently as sensitive as clinicians would like them to be, leaving many patients in hospital, using valuable resources.
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