November 8th, 2010

Non-STEMI Patients Delay Seeking Help Just As Long as STEMI Patients

Non-STEMI patients delayed going to the hospital for as long in 2006 as they did in 2001, according to a report published in the Archives of Internal Medicine. Henry Ting and colleagues analyzed data from 104,622 non-STEMI patients enrolled in the CRUSADE (Can Rapid Risk Stratification of Unstable Angina Patients Suppress Adverse Outcomes With Early Implementation of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Guidelines) registry and found that the median delay time from the onset of symptoms to hospital arrival was 2.6 hours. Nearly 60% of patients took at least 2 hours before arriving at the hospital.

Delay times for STEMI and non-STEMI patients are similar, the authors report. They write: “Because patients cannot differentiate whether symptoms are due to STEMI or non-STEMI, early presentation is desirable in both instances,” adding: “Novel strategies to improve patient responsiveness to seek care are critical and important for both patients with STEMI or non-STEMI.”

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