The aim of this study is to investigate the long-term impact of a prehospital ECG programme on treatment times for patients with ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) undergoing primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI).Methods
From January 2008 to December 2012, 213 STEMI patients transported by the Emergency Medical System (EMS) underwent primary PCI in our Hospital. The protocol included ECG tele-transmission, early activation of the cath lab and direct routing of the patient for primary PCI. Fifty-four patients referred by EMS in 2007, when ECG tele-transmission was unavailable, were used as controls. First diagnostic ECG-to-balloon time, door-to-balloon time and total ischemic time were collected for all patients.Results
First diagnostic ECG-to-balloon time decreased from 125.5 min in 2007 to 104 min in the first year after implementation of the STEMI programme (2008). Successively, it declined to 81 min by the end of the study period (2012) (P < 0.0001). Door-to-balloon time decreased notably from 92.5 min in 2007 to 40.5 min by the end of the study period (p < 0.0001). Total ischemic time fell from 200 min in 2007 to 170 min in 2008 and it further declined to 163.5 min in 2012 (p < 0.042).Conclusions
We report progressive improvements in times to treatment over a 5-year period in a STEMI program for patients referred by the EMS. The importance of data collection and monitoring is highlighted by our results.