ABSTRACT: In Europe, interhospital transfer of ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) patients for primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) from non-PCI-capable (STEMI-referral) to PCI-capable (STEMI-accepting) facilities has been shown to be a superior reperfusion strategy compared with on-site fibrinolysis. The feasibility of such programs in the United States remains poorly defined.
We describe an observational cohort of 230 consecutive presumed STEMI patients who underwent interhospital transfer between January 2005 and March 2007 among 6 STEMI-referral and 2 STEMI-accepting hospitals in rural central Illinois. A standard treatment protocol using rapid interhospital transfer for primary PCI or rescue PCI after full-dose intravenous fibrinolysis (in event of unanticipated transfer delays) was initiated by the STEMI-referral emergency department physician. Three time intervals were evaluated: STEMI-referral care (door 1 to departure), transport time (door 1 departure to STEMI-accepting hospital arrival [door 2]), and STEMI-accepting hospital care (door 2 to balloon). Primary PCI was performed in 165 STEMI-confirmed patients (87.7%), whereas fibrinolysis was required in 16 patients (8.5%), with 56% undergoing rescue PCI. The median door 1-to-departure time was 46 minutes (25th and 75th percentiles, 32 and 62 minutes); approximately two thirds of this delay was attributable to the wait for transport arrival and departure. The transport and door 2-to-balloon times were 29 minutes (25th and 75th percentiles, 25 and 35 minutes) and 35 minutes (25th and 75th percentiles, 32 and 46 minutes), respectively. The door 1-to-balloon time was 117 minutes (25th and 75th percentiles, 98 and 137 minutes), with 12.2% and 58% of patients achieving a time of < or = 90 and < or = 120 minutes, respectively. No adverse clinical events occurred during interhospital transport.
In rural US communities, emergency department physician-initiated interhospital transfer of STEMI patients for primary or rescue PCI is feasible and was safely executed with achievement of timely reperfusion when performed within coordinated healthcare networks.
Circulation 03/2008; 117(9):1145-52. · 14.74 Impact Factor