Each year, around 240,000 people in England and Wales have an acute myocardial infarction.1 Of these, around half die within a month, many before reaching medical help. The likelihood of early and longer-term morbidity (e.g. heart failure, arrhythmias) and death is related to the extent of myocardial damage. Rapid restoration of blood flow to the affected muscle (reperfusion) limits the damage and improves the clinical outlook. Here we discuss different methods of achieving reperfusion in patients with myocardial infarction.
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