Delays in presentation with acute coronary syndrome in people with coronary artery disease in Australia and New Zealand

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Journal Article
EMA - Emergency Medicine Australasia, 2011, 23 (2), pp. 153 - 161
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Objectives: To report time from the onset of symptoms to hospital presentation in Australian and New Zealand patients with subsequently confirmed acute coronary syndrome, and to identify factors associated with prehospital delay time in these patients. Methods: Patients with coronary artery disease enrolled in a randomized clinical trial testing an intervention to reduce delay in responding to acute coronary syndrome symptoms had been followed for 24months. In cases of admission to the ED for possible acute coronary syndrome, medical records were reviewed to determine the diagnosis, prehospital delay time, mode of transport to the hospital and aspirin use before admission. Clinical and demographic data were taken from the trial database. Results: Patients (n= 140) had an average (SD) age of 67.3 (11.5) years; 36% were female. Two-thirds of patients went to hospital by ambulance and 89.3% had a final diagnosis of unstable angina. The median time from onset of symptoms to arrival at the ED was 2h and 25min (interquartile range 1:25-4:59); 12.1% arrived ≤ 1h and 66% within 4h. Multiple linear regression analysis showed that use of ambulance (Beta = 0.247, P= 0.012) and younger age (Beta = 0.198, P= 0.043) were independent predictors of shorter delay times. Conclusion: The time from the onset of symptoms to hospital presentation was too long for maximal benefit from treatment in most patients. Further efforts are needed to reduce treatment-seeking delay in response to symptoms of acute coronary syndrome. © 2011 The Authors. EMA © 2011 Australasian College for Emergency Medicine and Australasian Society for Emergency Medicine.
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