Pain to Hospital Times After Myocardial Infarction in Patients from Dalmatian Mainland and Islands, Southern Croatia

Novak, Katarina; Aljinović, Jure; Kostić, Sandra; Čapkun, Vesna; Novak Ribičić, Kristijana; Batinić, Tonći; Štula, Ivana; Puljak, Livia
October 2010
Croatian Medical Journal;Oct2010, Vol. 51 Issue 5, p423
Academic Journal
Aim To analyze pre-hospital delay in patients with myocardial infarction from mainland and islands of Split-Dalmatian County, southern Croatia. Methods The study included all patients with myocardial infarction transported by ambulance to the University Hospital Split in 1999, 2003, and 2005. Pre-hospital delay was analyzed in the following intervals: pain-to-call, call-to-ambulance, ambulance-to-door, and door-to-coronary care unit interval. Patients were categorized according to the location from which they were transported: Split, mainland >15 km from Split, and islands. Results There were 1314 patients (62.9% men) transported and hospitalized for myocardial infarction. Total prehospital delay (pain-to-hospital) was significantly reduced from 1999 to 2005 (5.2 hours vs 4.3 hours, P = 0.011). Seventy-five patients (5.7%) were admitted to the coronary care unit within the recommended time-frame of less than 90 minutes, none of which was from the islands, while 248 patients (18.9%) were admitted more than 12 hours from the onset of pain. Conclusion Pre-hospital delay in patients with myocardial infarction in southern Croatia is still too long, especially in patients coming from outside of Split. Prognosis and survival of such patients may be improved by introducing changes to the health care system in remote areas, such as out-of-hospital thrombolysis, greater use of telemedicine, training of lay persons and paramedics in defibrillation, introduction of quality assessment mechanisms, and improved patient transport.


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