Aim Primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PPCI) produces more effective coronary reperfusion and allows immediate risk stratification compared with fibrinolysis. We investigated the safety and feasibility of very early discharge at 2 days following PPCI in selected low-risk cases.
Methods This was a prospective observational cohort study of 2779 patients who underwent PPCI between 2004 and 2011. Patients meeting the following criteria were deemed suitable for very early discharge; TIMI III flow, left ventricle (LF) ejection fraction >40%, and rhythmic and haemodynamic stability out to 48 h. Higher-risk patients who did not fulfil these criteria were discharged later according to physician preference. All patients were offered outpatient review by a multidisciplinary team. Endpoints included 30 day readmission rates and major adverse cardiac events (MACE) out to a median of 2.8 years (IQR range: 1.3–4.4 years).
Results 1309 (49.3%) PPCI patients met very early discharge criteria, of whom 1117 (85.3%) were actually discharged at 2 days. 620 (23.4%) were discharged at 3 days, and 916 (34.5%) >3 days after admission (median 5, IQR: 4–8) days). Patients discharged at 2 days were younger, and had lower rates of diabetes, renal dysfunction, multivessel coronary artery disease, previous myocardial infarction, and previous coronary artery bypass surgery, compared with patients discharged later. 30-day readmission rates for non-MACE events were 4.8%, 4.9% and 4.6% for patients discharged 2 days, 3 days and >3 days after admission, respectively. MACE rates were lowest in patients discharged at 2 days (9.6%, 95% CI 4.7% to 16.6%) compared with patients discharged at 3 days (12.3% 95% CI 6.0% to 19.2%) and >3 days (28.6% 95% CI 22.9% to 34.7%, p<0.0001) after admission.
Conclusions Our data suggest that discharge of low-risk patients 2 days after successful PPCI is feasible and safe. Over 40% of all patients with ST-elevation myocardial infarction may be suitable for early discharge with important implications for healthcare costs.
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