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The clinical and geographical characteristics, health-seeking behaviours of ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction patients with their total ischaemic time and short-term cardiac mortality outcomes: a local geographical perspective from a developing country.

INTRODUCTION: Ischaemic heart disease including ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) is the leading cause of death among Malaysians. Total ischaemic time (TIT) which consists of patient delay and systemic delay is a strong predictor of cardiovascular outcome in STEMI. Primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PPCI) is superior to medical thrombolysis in improving STEMI patients' survival outcomes. Our study aims to provide an insight into the clinical and geographical characteristics of STEMI patients, their health-seeking behaviour, TIT, interventions received and short-term cardiac mortality outcomes in the effort to improve the existing coronary care service.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: This is a descriptive study looking into patients who were diagnosed with STEMI and presented to or were referred to Sarawak Heart Centre between 1st July 2022 and 31st December 2022.

RESULTS: A total of 183 patients were recruited and 33.3% were <50 years old. The majority were in a different division during symptom onset from where the local PPCI centre is located and some underwent one or two transits before arrival at the revascularisation centre. More presented outof- hour and they were more likely to present within the PPCI window. The median TIT for the study population was 3.3 hours. The short-term cardiac mortalities were 9.3% and only the Killip class was found to have a significant association. In this study, TIT was not significantly associated with short-term mortalities but those who died had a longer median TIT.

CONCLUSION: A local STEMI network should be set up using the 'Hub-and-Spoke' model in a staged-wise approach to reduce TIT given that PPCI is now the gold standard of treatment alongside continuous effort in patient education.

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