Originally Published 12/1/10 on The Doctor Weighs In here.
In cases of myocardial infarction time is of the essence. If a patient is brought to the ER within an hour of the heart attack, chances are excellent that damage to the heart can be largely avoided. This is referred to as “the golden hour”. Other clinical events have their “golden” time period (for instance, 4 hours for stroke), although we are mostly ignorant as to the why and the how of these windows of opportunity.