We developed a regional strategy to decrease the time to percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) for patients with acute ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI). Protocols were created for paramedics and referring hospitals to identify and directly triage all patients with STEMI to a single PCI center. Time to PCI reperfusion and in-hospital mortality were assessed in 233 consecutive patients with STEMI. Ninety-minute initial hospital door-to-patent infarct artery was achieved in 58.3% of paramedic-diagnosed and directly triaged patients compared with 37.5% of "walk-ins" to the PCI hospital and with only 5.2% of those transferred from another hospital emergency department (ED; p <0.001). Overall in-hospital mortality was 2.1%, 0% in paramedic identified patients, and 0% in those walk-ins to the PCI hospital ED compared with 4.3% for those transferred from a referring hospital ED (p = 0.007). Paramedic diagnosis of STEMI and direct triage to a prealerted interventional hospital for primary PCI was associated with a high percentage of patients achieving <90-minute infarct artery patency. Substantial delays remained for those who presented initially to a non-PCI hospital ED despite the expedited protocol. In conclusion, this observational study suggests that wider use of paramedic electrocardiographic STEMI diagnosis and direct triage to a prealerted PCI hospital catheterization team may help improve outcomes of patients with STEMI.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine