Coordinated regional care of myocardial infarction in a rural area in Brazil: Minas Telecardio Project 2

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Abstract

Aims

In Brazil, there are considerable disparities in access to healthcare. The aim of this study was to assess how implementation of a coordinated regional management protocol for patients with ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) affected quality of care and outcomes in a rural and deprived Brazilian region with considerable social inequalities.

Methods and results

The quality of care and outcomes of STEMI was evaluated in two cohorts before (n = 214) and after (n = 143) implementation of the coordinated regional management protocol. Central to this protocol was a tablet-based digital electrocardiogram (ECG) recording in the emergency ambulance that was transmitted for analysis by trained professionals. If the pre-hospital ECG was diagnostic, it triggered a management cascade involving a direct transfer to the regional intervention centre with reperfusion by primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PPCI) or pre-hospital fibrinolysis for anticipated journey times of less than or greater than 2 h, respectively. Following implementation of the protocol, the adjusted medical delay (system delay − transport time) decreased by 40% (95% confidence intervals: −66%, −13%). The proportion of patients who received reperfusion therapy increased from 70.6 to 80.8% (P = 0.045), with increases in treatment with aspirin [94.2–100% (P = 0.003)] and P2Y12 inhibitors [87.5–100% (P < 0.001)]. The odds of in-hospital death showed a non-significant decrease [odds ratio 0.73 (95% confidence intervals: 0.34–1.60)].

Conclusion

The implementation of a coordinated regional management protocol for patients with STEMI led to marked improvements in the quality of care in a remote Brazilian region with limited resources.

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