Preventing national heart attack epidemic

KONS is expected to lower the death rate by 25 percent and the number of hospitalised patients by 26 percent. Photo:

As many as 175,000 Poles die following a heart attack annually, “around one million suffer from heart conditions… In our country alone 12 mln people are in the danger zone of this disease,” said the head of the Polish Cardiological Association (PTK) Piotr Ponikowski.

Nevertheless, PTK has an action plan that involves the introduction of new praxes that will complement the existing ones. The new tool is the ‘Coordinated Care for Patients with Congestive Heart Failure (KONS)’ program prepared by the Association in collaboration with the Polish ministry of health.

The KONS program will introduce a set of pre-emptive and preventive methods that will improve the prognosis of patients susceptible to a heart attack and, hopefully, bring about the end of the heart failure epidemic in Poland.

Three major modules comprise the program. Firstly, competent general care at the “nurse level.” Secondly, if the disease worsens, a patient would be transported to a ward in a day hospital. The last module involves placing the most severely ill in heart failure treatment facilities.

The plenipotentiary of PTK Ms Jadwiga Nessler expounds further on KONS, saying that it “is based on the systemic merger of interventional cardiology, electrotherapy, complex and multiprofile ambulatory, pharmaceutical and rehabilitation care.”

According to the health and medicine-centered Puls Medycyny newsletter, KONS is expected to lower the death rate by 25 percent and the number of hospitalised patients by 26 percent.

Since March 2018 the program has been run as a pilot and is expected to be introduced on a full-term basis this year.

Complex Care For Post-Heart Attack Patients

The KONS program is a natural complement to a Complex Care for Post-Heart Attack Patients (KOS) that has been active since October 2017. This program will tend to survivors of heart attacks by means of diagnosis and cardiological treatment for a duration of 12 years after the heart failure.

According to PTK secretary Piotr Jankowski, KOS is already executed in 50 facilities around Poland. “In Silesia, around 80 percent of patients start their rehab no later than 14 days after leaving the hospital. For comparison’s sake, before KOS was introduced, in 50 percent of cases the delay in treatment initiation exceeded 52 days,” said Mr Jankowski.

Moreover, “98 percent of the Cardiological Clinic of the Opole University Hospital patients who underwent the program are convinced that participation improved their health. Ninety percent of patients who have made it through a severe heart failure says that the KOS healthcare is better or much better than the hitherto provided help,” said Mr Jankowski.

Presentations regarding KONS and KOS are being delivered during the three day PTK congress, starting on 12 and concluding on September 15. The congress is a forum for 5500 specialists from Poland, Europe, Asia and America who take part in 135 themed sessions and 500 lectures.

The congress chairman Zbigniew Gąsior deems the congress one of the largest scientific events in Poland.