Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Many patients having heart attacks still wait more than two hours to go to the hospital

Date:
November 8, 2010
Source:
JAMA and Archives Journals
Summary:
Long delays between developing symptoms and going to the hospital are common among patients with a certain type of heart attack, according to a new study.

Long delays between developing symptoms and going to the hospital are common among patients with a certain type of heart attack, according to a report in the November 8 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Professional guidelines recommend that patients call 9-1-1 if symptoms suggestive of a heart attack do not improve within five minutes, according to background information in the article. Medical treatment is most urgent in patients with ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI; a certain pattern on an electrocardiogram during a heart attack). However, patients cannot tell whether their symptoms indicate a STEMI or non-STEMI, so getting to the hospital quickly is critical no matter which type of heart attack they are experiencing.

"For patients with STEMI, studies have documented that the average delay time from symptom onset to hospital presentation is two hours and has not decreased substantially despite multiple public education campaigns," the authors write. "While delays from symptom onset to hospital presentation have been linked to worse outcomes in patients with STEMI, the impact of such delays in patients with non-STEMI is unknown."

Henry H. Ting, M.D., M.B.A., of Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn., and colleagues studied 104,622 patients with non-STEMI from 568 hospitals between 2001 and 2006. The hospitals were all participating in a national study (Can Rapid Risk Stratification of Unstable Angina Patients Suppress Adverse Outcomes With Early Implementation of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Guidelines, or CRUSADE) for which they collected data on patient demographic and clinical information, physician and hospital characteristics, medication histories and treatment regimens and outcomes.

The delay in arriving to the hospital after symptoms remained stable between 2001 and 2006, with a median (midpoint) delay of 2.6 hours. About 60 percent of patients had delay times longer than two hours, and 11 percent of patients arrived at the hospital more than 12 hours after experiencing symptoms. Delay times were not consistently or strongly associated with patients' risk of dying in the hospital.

Patients who were older, female, a race other than white, had diabetes or currently smoked were more likely to have longer delays. "However, the magnitude of effect (less than 10 percent) on delay time from each factor was overshadowed by the overall duration of delay (median delay time, 2.6 hours)," the authors write. "Therefore, interventions aimed at improving patient awareness of symptoms and responsiveness to seek care will likely need to target all patients at risk for myocardial infarction [heart attack], and not just those who have individual risk factors (age, sex or diabetes) for longer delay time."

In addition, patients who arrived at the hospital during weekday and weekend nights (between 12 a.m. and 8 a.m.) had 25-percent shorter delay times than those who arrived between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. on weekdays. "While we cannot determine why patients decided to seek care more quickly at night, potential hypotheses include heightened fear during the night when patients may be alone at home, higher tolerance of symptoms during the daytime when a patient is active or at work or a perception of shorter waiting times and less crowding in emergency departments during the night."

"Novel strategies to improve patient responsiveness to seek care are critical and important for both patients with STEMI or non-STEMI," they conclude.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by JAMA and Archives Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. H. H. Ting, A. Y. Chen, M. T. Roe, P. S. Chan, J. A. Spertus, B. K. Nallamothu, M. D. Sullivan, E. R. DeLong, E. H. Bradley, H. M. Krumholz, E. D. Peterson. Delay From Symptom Onset to Hospital Presentation for Patients With Non-ST-Segment Elevation Myocardial Infarction. Archives of Internal Medicine, 2010; 170 (20): 1834 DOI: 10.1001/archinternmed.2010.385

Cite This Page:

JAMA and Archives Journals. "Many patients having heart attacks still wait more than two hours to go to the hospital." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 November 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101108161125.htm>.
JAMA and Archives Journals. (2010, November 8). Many patients having heart attacks still wait more than two hours to go to the hospital. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101108161125.htm
JAMA and Archives Journals. "Many patients having heart attacks still wait more than two hours to go to the hospital." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101108161125.htm (accessed September 22, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, September 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

AP (Sep. 21, 2014) Sierra Leone residents remained in lockdown on Saturday as part of a massive effort to confine millions of people to their homes in a bid to stem the biggest Ebola outbreak in history. (Sept. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Newsy (Sep. 20, 2014) Sierra Leone is locked down as aid workers and volunteers look for new cases of Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) A study suggest antidepressants can kick in much sooner than previously thought. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins