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Transmitting EKG May Cut Door-to-Reperfusion Time

When data is transmitted, door-to-reperfusion time is 50 minutes in ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction

MONDAY, Nov. 6 (HealthDay News) -- If emergency technicians transmit electrocardiographic data to a cardiologist's hand-held device before arrival at the hospital, it may result in a shorter door-to-reperfusion time for patients with ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI), according to the results of a pilot study published in the November issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.

George L. Adams, M.D., of the Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C., and colleagues compared reperfusion times in 101 self-transported patients, 24 patients transported by emergency medical services who had successful electrocardiographic transmission, and 19 for whom transmission failed.

The researchers found that the median door-to-reperfusion time for patients with successful electrocardiographic transmission was 50 minutes compared to 96 minutes for self-transported patients and 78 minutes for those in whom transmission failed.

"This is the first study of its kind to use a novel systematic approach to treatment for patients with STEMI that involved state-of-the-art technology with wireless electrocardiographic transmission in assembly of a cardiac care team before the patient actually arrived at the hospital," the authors write. "Pre-hospital wireless electrocardiographic transmission directly to a cardiologist's hand-held device significantly decreased emergency department door-to-reperfusion time, thus achieving the recommended American College of Cardiology/ American Heart Association goal [of less than 90 minutes] for patients with STEMI."

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