|Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the US. Each year, over 6 million patients come to emergency departments experiencing chest pain or other symptoms suggesting a cardiac problem. Of these patients, 1.5 million will prove to have a heart attack or unstable angina that could lead to a heart attack .
A heart attack occurs when blood flow in the coronary arteries to the heart muscle is blocked due to a clot. Permanent damage or even death to the heart muscle are a direct result of this blockage. Whether or not the heart will continue to function after a heart attack depends on how much of the heart muscle is damaged or dies before medical treatment is obtained.
The IMMEDIATE Trial is a NIH NHLBI supported study of a potentially important, inexpensive, and effective form of therapy for heart attack patients in the emergency setting. The IMMEDIATE Trial is testing whether early intervention of intravenous (IV) Glucose, Insulin and Potassium (GIK) can help improve the outcomes of patients having heart attack symptoms. Studies have shown that immediate GIK treatment can protect the heart that is not receiving sufficient blood flow and can minimize heart muscle damage that might otherwise lead to death or to long-term heart failure. Based on this trial, the IMMEDIATE Trial Investigators hope to provide an answer to whether this commonly-available treatment will have as dramatic an impact as some initial studies have suggested.