Delay to reperfusion in patients with acute myocardial infarction presenting to acute care hospitals: an international perspective
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AIMS: To examine the extent of delay from initial hospital presentation to fibrinolytic therapy or primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), characteristics associated with prolonged delay, and changes in delay patterns over time in patients with ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI). METHODS AND RESULTS: We analysed data from 5170 patients with STEMI enrolled in the Global Registry of Acute Coronary Events from 2003 to 2007. The median elapsed time from first hospital presentation to initiation of fibrinolysis was 30 min (interquartile range 18-60) and to primary PCI was 86 min (interquartile range 53-135). Over the years under study, there were no significant changes in delay times to treatment with either strategy. Geographic region was the strongest predictor of delay to initiation of fibrinolysis >30 min. Patient's transfer status and geographic location were strongly associated with delay to primary PCI. Patients treated in Europe were least likely to experience delay to fibrinolysis or primary PCI. CONCLUSION: These data suggest no improvements in delay times from hospital presentation to initiation of fibrinolysis or primary PCI during our study period. Geographic location and patient transfer were the strongest predictors of prolonged delay time, suggesting that improvements in modifiable healthcare system factors can shorten delay to reperfusion therapy even further.
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