Acute coronary syndrome (ACS) is a life-threatening condition and the time-period from the onset of symptoms to the patients’ arrival into the hospital has crucial importance. The authors investigated retrospectively the patients’ decision time (time from the onset of the symptoms to seeking medical help) and the transport time to hospital arrival. In Hungary, it is unique of its kind that the present data can be compared to those obtained in the same area almost three decades ago.
One-hundred forty-two patients (106 males and 36 females) were involved in the study, the mean age ± SD was 62.4 ± 11.3 years. The median decision time was 40 min; the median hospital arrival time was 2 h and 13 min. These were significantly shorter than in 1985–1986. These time parameters were influenced neither by gender, age, the number of inhabitants in the patients’ city, the patients’ education level, the occurrence of any former coronary event in the family and nor by the fact that the type of ACS was myocardial infarction with or without ST segment elevation.
During the last two and half decades both the decision and the hospital arrival time decreased significantly (by 39 and 28 %, respectively) probably due to greater knowledge of general practitioners and the better organized ambulance service. Further improvement is needed; this can be expected by consistent education of the patients.