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J Am Coll Cardiol. 2008 Oct 7;52(15):1216-21. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2008.07.011.

Time is muscle: translation into practice.

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  • 1Cardiovascular Division, TIMI Study Group, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.


In the future, advances in the care of patients with ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) will not come from the analysis of trials that do not reflect current practice in an effort to rationalize extending the percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI)-related delay time. We must move beyond such arguments and find ways to shorten total ischemic time. With the launching of the American College of Cardiology's D2B Alliance and the American Heart Association's Mission: Lifeline programs, the focus is now on systems improvement for reperfusion in patients with STEMI. The D2B Alliance was developed to focus on improvement in door-to-balloon times for patients with STEMI who are undergoing primary PCI. The American Heart Association Mission: Lifeline program is a broad, comprehensive national initiative to improve the quality of care and outcomes of patients with STEMI by improving health care system readiness and response to STEMI. Improvements in access to timely care for patients with STEMI will require a multifaceted approach involving patient education, improvements in the Emergency Medical Services and emergency department components of care, the establishment of networks of STEMI-referral hospitals (not PCI capable) and STEMI-receiving hospitals (PCI capable), as well as coordinated advocacy efforts to work with payers and policy makers to implement a much-needed health care system redesign. By focusing now on system efforts for improvements in timely care for STEMI, we will complete the cycle of research initiated by Reimer and Jennings 30 years ago. Time is muscle ... we must translate that into practice.

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