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Emergency Department Use of Aspirin in Patients with Possible Acute Myocardial Infarction

B. Benjamin Saketkhou, MD; Frank J. Conte, MD; Maryanne Noris, MD; Peter Tilkemeier, MD; Gregory Miller, MD; Daniel E. Forman, MD; Lauralyn Cannistra, MD; Jeffrey Leavitt, MD; Satish C. Sharma, MD; Carol Garber, PhD; and Alfred F. Parisi, MD
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From the Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island, Pawtucket, Rhode Island; and the Veterans Affairs Medical Center, the Roger Williams Medical Center, The Miriam Hospital, and Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island. Acknowledgments: The authors thank Suzanne Bailey and Teresa Gadouas for their excellent help with manuscript preparation and Elizabeth Coccio, RN, and Katherine Hutchinson, RN, for technical assistance. Requests for Reprints: Alfred F. Parisi, MD, Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine, The Miriam Hospital, 164 Summit Avenue, Providence, RI 02906. Current Author Addresses: Dr. Saketkhou: 22245 Alyssum Way, Boca Raton, FL 33433.

Copyright ©2004 by the American College of Physicians

Ann Intern Med. 1997;127(2):126-129. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-127-2-199707150-00005
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Background: Efforts have been made to improve the suboptimal use of aspirin after hospitalization.

Objective: To assess the frequency and timing of aspirin administration in emergency department patients with possible myocardial infarction.

Design: Retrospective record review.

Setting: Emergency departments of four hospitals affiliated with the same university.

Patients: All patients who were admitted to the four hospitals in 1994 for evaluation and treatment of suspected acute myocardial infarction.

Measurements: The frequency and timing of aspirin administration and the definitive diagnosis established before discharge from the hospital.

Results: Aspirin was not given to 253 of 463 emergency department patients (55%) who had a definitive diagnosis of acute myocardial infarction. Seventy-eight percent of patients who did receive aspirin received it more than 30 minutes after arrival in the emergency department.

Conclusion: Aspirin therapy is underutilized as the first intervention in patients who are admitted with suspected myocardial infarction.





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