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Impact of call-to-balloon time on 30-day mortality in contemporary practice


Objective Studies reporting an association between treatment delay and outcome for patients with ST segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) have generally not included patients treated by a primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PPCI) service that systematically delivers reperfusion therapy to all eligible patients. We set out to determine the association of call-to-balloon (CTB) time with 30-day mortality after PPCI in a contemporary series of patients treated within a national reperfusion service.

Methods We analysed data on 16 907 consecutive patients with STEMI treated by PPCI in England and Wales in 2011 with CTB time of ≤6 hours.

Results The median CTB and door-to-balloon times were 111 and 41 min, respectively, with 80.9% of patients treated within 150 min of the call for help. An out-of-hours call time (58.2% of patients) was associated with a 10 min increase in CTB time, whereas inter-hospital transfer for PPCI (18.5% of patients) was associated with a 49 min increase in CTB time. CTB time was independently associated with 30-day mortality (p<0.0001) with a HR of 1.95 (95% CI 1.54 to 2.47) for a CTB time of >180–240 min compared with ≤90 min. The relationship between CTB time and 30-day mortality was influenced by patient risk profile with a greater absolute impact of increasing CTB time on mortality in high-risk patients.

Conclusion CTB time is a useful metric to assess the overall performance of a PPCI service. Delays to reperfusion remain important even in the era of organised national PPCI services with rapid treatment times and efforts should continue to minimise treatment delays.

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