Prehospital delay is considered to be an important cause of out of hospital coronary mortality. Behavior of patients and physicians in response to the symptoms of myocardial infarction (MI) or impending out of hospital death (OHD) was studied for 107 consecutive acute coronary events in Framingham, Mass. Delay due to inappropriate patient behavior was the most important component of total delay. Delay related to patient physician contact occurred in two thirds of MI cases and was more than 30 minutes in half of these. Office visits and inappropriate triage by nurses and receptionists were important factors in physician delay. However, 60% to 75% of OHDs occur so rapidly that their prevention by reduction of prehospital delay seems impossible. A strategy for reduction of delay that might be of benefit in preventing some of the remaining OHDs is described.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine