The impact of prolonged waiting time for coronary care unit admission on patients with non ST-elevation acute coronary syndrome

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Abstract

Background

The boarding of patients in the emergency department consumes nursing and physician resources, and may delay the evaluation of new patients. It may also contribute to poor cardiovascular outcomes in patients with acute coronary syndrome (ACS). This study analyzed the relationship between the delay in coronary care unit (CCU) admission and the clinical outcomes of patients with ACS with non-ST-segment elevation (NSTE-ACS).

Methods

Patients were divided into 2 groups according to the CCU waiting time (< 12 h and > 12 h). Outcome variables including in-hospital mortality, gastrointestinal bleeding and stroke during hospitalization, and duration of hospital stay were compared between the 2 study groups. We used the GRACE risk scores to classify disease severity of the study patients for stratifying analysis.

Result

A difference was found in the outcome of gastrointestinal bleeding. Among those with GRACE risk scores of < 3 (low mortality risk) and 3 (high mortality risk), 5% and 3.1% of patients developed gastrointestinal bleeding, respectively, with CCU waiting time of > 12 h compared to CCU waiting time of < 12 h. However, there was no significant statistical difference (P = 0.065 and 0.547). In addition, there were no significant differences in the in-hospital mortality rate, incidence of stoke, and duration of hospital stay between the 2 groups.

Conclusion

There was no significant difference in the clinical outcomes of NSTE-ACS patients without profound shock between those with CCU waiting times of < 12 and > 12 h. If necessary, CCU admission should be prioritized for patients whose hemodynamic instability or respiratory failure.

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