Knock on the Right Door. How we are Treating the Patient with Acute Myocardial Infarction

Abstract Background: To reduce mortality of acute myocardial infarction, medical care must be provided within the first hours of the event. Objective: To identify the “front door” to medical care of acute coronary patients and the time elapsed between patients’ admission and performance of myocardial reperfusion in the public health system of the city of Joinville, Brazil. Methods: The study was a retrospective analysis of the medical records of 112 consecutive patients diagnosed with acute myocardial infarction by coronary angiography. We identified the place of the first medical contact and calculated the time between admission to this place and admission to the referral hospital, as well as the time until coronary angiography, with or without percutaneous transluminal angioplasty. A descriptive analysis of data was made using mean and standard deviation, and a p < 0.05 was set as statistically significant. Results: Only 16 (14.3%) patients were admitted through the cardiology referral unit. Door-to-angiography time was shorter than 90 minutes in 50 (44.2%) patients and longer than 270 minutes in 39 (34.5%) patients. No statistically significant difference was observed in door-to-angiography time between patients transported directly to the referral hospital and those transferred from other health units (p<0.240). Considering the time between pain onset and angiography, only 3 (2.9%) patients may have benefited from myocardial reperfusion performed within less than 240 minutes. Conclusion: Management of patients with acute myocardial infarction is not in conformity with current guidelines for the treatment of this condition. The structure of the healthcare system should be urgently modified so that users in need of emergency services receive adequate care in accordance with local conditions.