Delays in Hospital Transfers for Heart Attack Patients
May Raise Death Risk06/21/11
TUESDAY, June 21 (HealthDay News) -- Only 11 percent of patients
who experience a potentially deadly type of heart attack and who
need to be transferred to another hospital for procedures such as
balloon angioplasty or stent placement are transferred within the
recommended time of 30 minutes.
Instead, a new study finds the average time patients waited to
be transferred was over an hour, a delay that researchers say may
increase the risk of death.
ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction, or STEMI, is one of
the most serious types of heart attacks.
Angioplasty and stent placement are known as percutaneous
coronary intervention (PCI), which is the preferred method of
restoring blood flow in patients with STEMI. However, about 75
percent of hospitals in the United States aren't able to perform
acute PCI, which means that many patients with STEMI have to be
transferred to another hospital, according to background
information in the study.
Researchers analyzed data from 14,821 STEMI patients who were
transferred from one hospital to another for primary PCI between
January 2007 and March 2010. The median duration of time from
arrival to discharge at the first hospital (door-in to door-out
[DIDO] time) was 68 minutes.
Only 1,627 of the patients (11 percent) had a DIDO time of 30
minutes or less, while 56 percent had a DIDO time of more than 60
minutes and 35 percent had a DIDO time of more than 90 minutes.
The death rate for patients with a DIDO time of 30 minutes or
less was 2.7 percent, compared with 5.9 percent for those with a
DIDO time of more than 30 minutes, found Dr. Tracy Y. Wang, of Duke
University Medical Center, and colleagues.
Their study appears in the June 22/29 issue of the
Journal of the American Medical Association.
The American Heart Association has more about
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