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Can J Cardiol. 1998 Jun;14(6):817-21.

Correlation of waiting time with adverse events in patients admitted for nonelective permanent pacemaker implantation.

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Division of Cardiology, University of Western Ontario, London.



To determine the effect of a dedicated permanent pacemaker implantation procedure room on waiting time and waiting time-related morbidity.


Retrospective chart review.


Two tertiary care teaching hospitals in southern Ontario; one with a dedicated procedure room (centre B) and one without (centre A).


Two hundred and fourteen consecutive patients who required permanent pacing urgently or emergently.


Charts were examined retrospectively at centre A (131 patients) and centre B (83 patients) to determine the waiting time for and the number of preoperative adverse events in nonelective permanent pacemaker implantation.


Patients in centre A waited a mean of 4.5 +/- 3.0 days while patients in centre B waited a mean of 1.9 +/- 1.6 days (P = 0.0001). Centre A patients experienced a total of 57 adverse events that were likely or possibly related to the waiting period, while patients at centre B experienced eight such events (P < 0.0001). Thirty-three per cent of the centre A patients experienced at least one adverse event, while 8% of centre B patients experienced at least one adverse event (P < 0.00001). Of the centre A patients who waited for more than six days (26 patients), 58% had at least one adverse event, compared with 26% of those who waited less than six days (105 patients, P = 0.0009).


Delays in implanting nonelective permanent pacemakers are strongly associated with an increase in adverse events. Measures to shorten the waiting time are likely to result in a reduction in morbidity in conjunction with a beneficial impact on health care resource utilization.

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