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Circulation. 2012 Jul 10;126(2):189-95. doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.111.068049. Epub 2012 Jun 4.

Expansion of a regional ST-segment-elevation myocardial infarction system to an entire state.

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  • 1Duke Clinical Research Institute, Duke University, Durham, NC 27710, USA.



Despite national guidelines calling for timely coronary artery reperfusion, treatment is often delayed, particularly for patients requiring interhospital transfer.


One hundred nineteen North Carolina hospitals developed coordinated plans to rapidly treat patients with ST-segment-elevation myocardial infarction according to presentation: walk-in, ambulance, or hospital transfer. A total of 6841 patients with ST-segment-elevation myocardial infarction (3907 directly presenting to 21 percutaneous coronary intervention hospitals, 2933 transferred from 98 non-percutaneous coronary intervention hospitals) were treated between July 2008 and December 2009 (age, 59 years; 30% women; 19% uninsured; chest pain duration, 91 minutes; shock, 9.2%). The rate of patients not receiving reperfusion fell from 5.4% to 4.0% (P=0.04). Treatment times for hospital transfer patients substantially improved. First-hospital-door-to-device time for hospitals that adopted a "transfer for percutaneous coronary intervention" reperfusion strategy fell from 117 to 103 minutes (P=0.0008), whereas times at hospitals with a mixed strategy of transfer or fibrinolysis fell from 195 to 138 minutes (P=0.002). Median door-to-device times for patients presenting directly to PCI hospitals fell from 64 to 59 minutes (P<0.001). Emergency medical services-transported patients were most likely to reach door-to-device goals, with 91% treated within 90 minutes and 52% being treated with 60 minutes. Patients treated within guideline goals had a mortality of 2.2% compared with 5.7% for those exceeding guideline recommendations (P<0.001).


Through extension of regional coordination to an entire state, rapid diagnosis and treatment of ST-segment-elevation myocardial infarction has become an established standard of care independently of healthcare setting or geographic location.

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