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Am J Cardiol. 2007 Sep 15;100(6):944-8. Epub 2007 Jul 2.

Rapid triage and transport of patients with ST-elevation myocardial infarction for percutaneous coronary intervention in a rural health system.

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Department of Cardiology, Geisinger Medical Center, Danville, Pennsylvania, USA.


This study was conducted to evaluate door-to-treatment times before and after the implementation of a rapid triage and transfer system for patients with ST-elevation myocardial infarction transferred from community hospitals to a rural angioplasty center for primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). The system was developed in late 2004 and implemented at a rural percutaneous coronary intervention center in early 2005. Helicopter transport was available for 97% of requests for transfer from community hospitals. All patients with ST-elevation myocardial infarction transferred during 2004 and 2005 (n=226) were evaluated with respect to presentation and treatment times. Time from community hospital presentation to wire crossing decreased during the study from 205 to 105 minutes (p=0.0001). One fourth of patients were treated <90 minutes after presentation, and 2/3 were treated in <120 minutes. In conclusion, the implementation of a rapid triage, transfer, and treatment protocol can achieve a significant shortening of presentation-to-treatment times. Efficient community hospitals working with an efficient angioplasty center can achieve presentation-to-wire crossing times of <90 minutes for some patients.

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