A report in the Revista Española de Cardiologia (Spanish Cardiology Magazine) has drawn on information from 75 hospitals in the country, one of these being Son Espases, in concluding that deaths from heart attacks doubled during the first wave of the pandemic.
The Spanish Cardiology Society points to there having been a 22.7% decrease in the number of cases at hospitals. This fall is attributed to patients having been anxious about going to health facilities. Consequently, the pandemic has had a secondary effect in terms of deaths.
Dr. Vicente Peral, head of cardiology at Son Espases, says that if heart attacks are attended to correctly and promptly, the mortality rate is low. But it obviously increases if patients get health attention later. He explains that patients haven't been delaying going to hospitals or calling for ambulances because of concerns about poor attention; it has been the fear. "Calls are being made later, but time is fundamental. Over the first two hours, half of the heart muscle dies."
Since 2007, the heart attack mortality rate in the Balearics has fallen by forty per cent to just seven per cent. However, the pandemic led to an increase in the time taken between the onset of symptoms and first being attended to; this was, on average, 33 minutes.
At Son Espases, and in line with the report's findings, fewer heart attack cases were attended to during the first wave, while Peral is of the view that there wasn't a higher incidence that could be linked to the pandemic. This may have had something to do with people having been less active or with there having been less contamination. "But this hasn't been confirmed."