Korean Circ J.  2020 Aug;50(8):709-719. 10.4070/kcj.2019.0337.

Community-Based Pre-HospitalElectrocardiogram TransmissionProgram for Reducing Systemic TimeDelay in Acute ST-Segment ElevationMyocardial Infarction

  • 1Department of Cardiology, Dong-A University Hospital, Dong-A University College of Medicine, Busan, Korea
  • 2Cardiovascular Center, Busan Regional Cardio-cerebrovascular Center, Dong-A University Hospital, Busan, Korea
  • 3Department of Inje University Baek Hospital, Inje University College of Medicine, Busan, Korea
  • 4Department of Cardiology, Inje University Haeundae Baek Hospital, Inje University College of Medicine, Busan, Korea
  • 5Department of Cardiology, Dong-Eui Medical Center, Busan, Korea
  • 6Department of Cardiology, Dong Rae Bong Seng Hospital, Busan, Korea
  • 7Department of Cardiology, Gupo Sungshim Hospital, Busan, Korea
  • 8Department of Cardiology, BHS Hanseo Hospital, Busan, Korea
  • 9Metropolitan City Fire and Safety Headquarters, Busan, Korea


Background and Objectives
In acute ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI),on-site transmission of electrocardiogram (ECG) has been shown to reduce systemic timedelay to reperfusion and improve outcomes. However, it has not been adopted in communitybasedemergency transport system in Korea.
Busan Regional Cardio-cerebrovascular Center and Busan Metropolitan City Fireand Safety Headquarters (BMFSH) jointly developed and conducted a pre-hospital ECGtransmission program. Seven tertiary hospitals and 22 safety stations of BMFSH participated.Systemic time delay to reperfusion of STEMI patients in the program was compared with thatof 95 patients transported by 119 emergency medical system (EMS) before the program wasimplemented.
During the study period, 289 ECG transmissions were made by 119 EMS personnel,executed within 5 minutes in 88.1% of cases. Of these, 42 ECGs were interpreted as STsegmentelevation. Final diagnosis of STEMI was made in 20 patients who underwent primarypercutaneous coronary intervention. With the program, systemic time delay to reperfusion wassignificantly reduced (median [interquartile range; IQR], 76.0 [62.2–98.7] vs. 90.0 [75.0–112.0],p<0.01). Significant reduction of door-to-balloon time was also observed (median [IQR], 45.0[34.0–69.5] vs. 58.0 [51.0–68.0], p=0.03). The proportion of patients with systemic time delayshorter than 90 minutes rose (51.6% vs. 75.0%, p=0.08) with pre-hospital ECG transmission.
We developed and implemented a community-based pre-hospital ECG transmission program for expeditious triage of STEMI patients. Significant reductions ofsystemic time delay and door-to-balloon time were observed. The expanded use of prehospitalECG transmission should be encouraged to realize the full potential of this program.


ST elevation myocardial infarction; Percutaneous coronary intervention; Triage
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