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Potential generation of geographical inequities by the introduction of primary percutaneous coronary intervention for the management of ST segment elevation myocardial infarction

Author(s): Pereira Augustine | Niggebrugge Aphrodite | Powles John | Kanka David | Lyratzopoulos Georgios

Journal: International Journal of Health Geographics
ISSN 1476-072X

Volume: 6;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 43;
Date: 2007;
Original page

Abstract Background Primary Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI) is more efficacious than thrombolysis in the management of acute myocardial infarction, but, because of the requirement for prompt treatment, there are practical challenges in developing such services. We examined the proportion of patients with ST segment Elevation Myocardial Infarction (STEMI) who could receive timely treatment from a primary Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI) service assuming different geographical locations of potential treatment centres in three English counties. Methods and results Information on the residential location of patients with new STEMI hospitalisations recorded in Hospital Episodes Statistics was analysed and the proportion of episodes of STEMI within 60' and 45' travel time isochrones from potential primary PCI centres in three English counties was calculated. There were on average 1,815 new STEMI hospitalisations per year occurring in the studied population. Introduction of a primary PCI service in one, two or three potential treatment centres would have covered respectively 28%, 73% and 90% of such episodes within 60 minutes travel time, and 17%, 51% and 69% within 45 minutes travel time. Conclusion In the study context, a primary PCI service in an existing tertiary centre would only cover a minority of STEMI events and would generate geographical inequities. A two-centre model would improve coverage and equity considerably, but may be associated with practical, clinical quality and financial challenges.
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