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CMAJ. 2007 Jun 19;176(13):1833-8.

Expedited transfer for primary percutaneous coronary intervention: a program evaluation.

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  • 1Department of Cardiac Sciences and Libin Cardiovascular Institute, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alta.



A shorter time from symptom onset to reperfusion is associated with improved outcomes for patients with ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (MI). Primary percutaneous coronary intervention is a favourable method of reperfusion if performed effectively and expeditiously. We sought to evaluate the impact of an expedited pre-hospital diagnosis and transfer pathway developed by a multidisciplinary team on the door-to-balloon time in a large urban community.


We included all patients with ST-segment elevation MI who presented within 12 hours after symptom onset and who sought medical attention through Emergency Medical Services within the boundaries of the city of Calgary in the 16 months following the introduction of the pathway in June 2004. The primary aim was to determine the proportion of patients who received percutaneous coronary intervention within the recommended door-to-balloon time of 90 minutes.


The 358 patients (268 men) in the study cohort had a mean age of 63.2 (standard deviation 12.7) years; 140 (39.1%) had an anterior MI; and 23 (6.4%) had cardiogenic shock. The introduction of the pathway resulted in a median door-to-balloon time of 62 (interquartile range 45-84) minutes. A door-to-balloon time within 60 minutes and within the currently recommended 90 minutes was achieved in 48.9% and 78.8% of the patients respectively. The in-hospital and 30-day mortality rates were both 3.1%.


In a community with multiple regional hospitals and a single facility for percutaneous coronary intervention, the implementation of a multidisciplinary pre-hospital diagnosis and transfer pathway was feasible and resulted in most patients in the study cohort receiving primary percutaneous coronary intervention within the recommended door-to-balloon time of 90 minutes.

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