FACTORS CAUSING DELAYED PRESENTATION OF PATIENTS WITH ACUTE MYOCARDIAL INFARCTION TO THE HOSPITAL
Objective: To determine the frequency of various factors of delayed arrival of patients with acute MI to the hospital.
Study Design: Descriptive.
Place and Duration of Study: Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology/ National Institute of Heart Diseases (AFIC/ NIHD), Rawalpindi, from October 2006 to January 2007.
Methodology: One hundred patients with acute MI were interviewed for information about the time of onset of symptoms and past medical history. The demographic data and the time of arrival to Emergency Room (ER) were noted from the hospital records. The nature of symptoms and the subsequent events up to the arrival at the ER of AFIC/ NIHD were inquired about and the cause of delayed arrival determined. All the data obtained was analyzed using SPSS version 10.0.
Results: Misinterpretation of symptoms was the chief factor for delayed hospital arrival (49%) followed by consulting a local medical practitioner (25%), living in an area far away from any hospital (10%), waiting for the symptoms to subside with treatment at home (8%), lack of transport (4%) and having no attendant to bring the patient to the hospital (4%).
Conclusion: Lack of awareness of ischemic symptoms, wasting time by going to local clinics and logistic difficulties are the chief factors causing delayed hospital arrival in patients of acute MI.