Starting thrombolytic therapy for patients with acute myocardial infarction in Accident and Emergency Department: from implementation to evaluation

Chin Med J (Engl). 1998 Apr;111(4):291-4.


Objective: To evaluate the effectiveness of initiating thrombolysis for patients with acute myocardial infarction (AMI) in the Accident and Emergency Department.

Methods: From January 1993 to December 1995, all AMI patients who were admitted to the United Christian Hospital and given thrombolytic therapy were studied. The patients' demographic data, time and mode of presentation, site of myocardial infarction, treatment modality and timing, and complications related to AMI or treatment were recorded prospectively in our AMI database. The frequency of thrombolysis administered in Accident and Emergency Department and Coronary Care Unit, as well as the median door-to-needle time (time interval between hospital arrival to initiation of thrombolytic therapy) were compared. Cases of inappropriate thrombolysis and complication were also analyzed.

Results: Over these 3 years, 257 patients received thrombolysis in the United Christian Hospital. The percentage of patients receiving thrombolysis in Accident and Emergency Department increased from 3.2% in 1993 to 12.3% in 1994, and to 39.4% in 1995. The median time interval between arrival to hospital and thrombolysis (door-to-needle time) was 25 minutes, compared with 81 minutes in the Coronary Care Unit. The door-to-needle time also improved over these 3 years: from 95 minutes in 1993 to 75 minutes in 1995 in Coronary Care Unit group, and from 35 minutes in 1993 to 20 minutes in 1995 in the Accident and Emergency Department group. Over these 3 years, 2 cases of inappropriate thrombolysis were reported but these did not result in any mortality. Four complications from thrombolytic therapy were reported, and these were managed appropriately by the staff in Accident and Emergency Department and did not result in mortality.

Conclusions: Starting thrombolytic therapy in Accident and Emergency Department is safe and effectively decreases the door-to-needle time.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Emergencies
  • Emergency Treatment
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Myocardial Infarction / drug therapy*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Thrombolytic Therapy*
  • Time Factors