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JYMS : Journal of Yeungnam Medical Science

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HOME > J Yeungnam Med Sci > Volume 24(1); 2007 > Article
Original Article Prehospital Status of the Patients with Ischemic Chest Pain before Admitting in the Emergency Department.
Hye Hwa Jin, Sam Beom Lee, Byung Soo Do, Byung Yeol Chun
Journal of Yeungnam Medical Science 2007;24(1):41-54
Published online: June 30, 2007
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1Emergency Care Center, Yeungnam University Hospital, Daegu, Korea.
2Department of Emergency Medicine, College of Medicine, Yeungnam University, Daegu, Korea.
3Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, College of Medicine, Kyungpook National University, Daegu, Korea.

The causes of chest pain vary but the leading cause of chest pain is ischemic heart disease. Mortality from ischemic chest pain has increased more than two fold over the last ten years. The purpose of this study was to determine the data necessary for rapid treatment of patients with signs and symptoms of ischemic chest pain in the emergency department (ED). MATERIALS AND METHODS: We interviewed 170 patients who had ischemic chest pain in the emergency department of Yeungnam University Hospital over 6 months with a protocol developed for the evaluation. The protocol used included gender, age, arriving time, prior hospital visits, methods of transportation to the hospital, past medical history, final diagnosis, and outcome information from follow up. RESULTS: Among 170 patients, there were 118 men (69.4%) and the mean age was 63 years. The patients diagnosed with acute myocardial infarction (AMI) were 106 (62.4%) and with angina pectoris (AP) were 64 (37.6%). The patients who had visited another hospital were 68.8%, twice the number that came directly to this hospital (p<0.05). The ratio of patients who visited another hospital were higher for the AMI (75.5%) than the AP (59.4%) patients (p<0.05). The median time spent deciding whether to go to hospital was 521 minutes and for transportation was 40 minutes. With regard to patients that visited another hospital first, the median time spent at the other hospital was 40 minutes. The total median time spent before arriving at our hospital was 600 minutes (p>0.05). The patients who had a total time delay of over 6 hours was similar 54.8% in the AMI group and 57.9% in the AP group (p>0.05). As a result, only 12.2% of the patients with an AMI received thrombolytics, and 48.8% of them had a simultaneous percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). In the emergency department 8.5% of the patients with an AMI died. CONCLUSION: Timing is an extremely important factor for the treatment of ischemic heart disease. Most patients arrive at the hospital after a long time lapse from the onset of chest pain. In addition, most patients present to a different hospital before they arrive at the final hospital for treatment. Therefore, important time is lost and opportunities for treatment with thrombolytics and/or PCI are diminished leading to poor outcomes for many patients in the ED. The emergency room treatment must improve for the identification and treatment of ischemic heart disease so that patients can present earlier and treatment can be started as soon as they present to an emergency room.

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