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Circ Cardiovasc Qual Outcomes. 2013 Jan 1;6(1):9-17. doi: 10.1161/CIRCOUTCOMES.112.967505. Epub 2012 Dec 11.

Integrated regional networks for ST-segment-elevation myocardial infarction care in developing countries: the experience of Salvador, Bahia, Brazil.

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Federal University of Bahia, Salvador, Bahia, Brazil.



Regionalized integrated networks for ST-segment-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) care have been proposed as a step forward in overcoming real-world obstacles, but data are lacking on its performance in developing countries. We describe an integrated regional STEMI network in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil.


The network was created in 2009. It was coordinated by the prehospital emergency medical service and encompassed the public emergency system (prehospital mobile units, community-based emergency units, general hospitals, and cardiology reference centers). The 12-lead ECGs are interpreted via telemedicine. This network operates as follows: The Telemedicine Center sends each ECG suggestive of STEMI to a Regional STEMI Alert Team, which, together with emergency medical services, offers support for thrombolysis or immediate transfer for primary percutaneous coronary intervention. In 14 months, there were 433 suspected victims, of which in 287 (76.5%) the STEMI could be confirmed (age, 62.1±12.5 years; 63.4% men). Most of them were self-transported. The median pain-to-admission time was 180 minutes (interquartile range, 90-473 minutes), and the median admission-to-ECG time was 159.5 minutes (interquartile range, 83.5-340 minutes). The median interval time between the ECG and the telemedicine report was 31 minutes (interquartile range, 21-44 minutes). For those who sought medical attention and had an ECG performed within 12 hours after symptoms onset (n=119), the reperfusion rate was 75.6% (34.4% by thrombolysis and 65.6% by primary percutaneous coronary intervention).


Regional STEMI networks may be feasible in developing countries. Preliminary results showed this network to be effective, achieving primary reperfusion rtes comparable with those reported internationally despite the obstacles faced.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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